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Mild Upside Seen For South Korea Stock Market

The South Korea stock market has finished higher in two straight sessions, jumping more than 220 points or 14 percent in that span. The KOSPI now rests just above the 1,700-point plateau and it may tick higher again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive on continued optimism for stimulus in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished with large gains again on Wednesday with gains across the board - especially from the financials, technology stocks and industrials.

For the day, the index advanced 94.79 points or 5.89 percent to finish at 1,704.76 after trading between 1,645.28 and 1,707.64. Volume was 852 million shares worth 12.4 trillion won. There were 872 gainers and 33 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial surged 14.20 percent, while KB Financial collected 9.78 percent, Hana Financial soared 10.42 percent, Samsung Electronics added 3.62 percent, LG Electronics gathered 6.69 percent, LG Chem was up 6.77 percent, SK Hynix spiked 7.37 percent, POSCO perked 10.65 percent, SK Telecom gained 2.05 percent, KEPCO rose 0.80 percent, Hyundai Motors skyrocketed 12.97 percent and Kia Motors accelerated 8.87 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks moved sharply higher on Wednesday before giving ground late in the session to end mixed.

The Dow jumped 495.64 points or 2.39 percent to finish at 21,200.55, while the NASDAQ fell 33.56 points or 0.45 percent to 7,384.29 and the S&P 500 climbed 28.23 points or 1.15 percent to 2,475.56.

Stocks moved sharply higher earlier in the session in reaction to news that Senate leaders and the White House have reached an agreement on the $2 trillion stimulus bill - but a potential snag over jobless benefits could delay its passage, sending stocks lower in the afternoon.

The Senate could pass the bill as soon as today, although the stimulus package would still need to be approved by the Democrat-controlled House before heading to President Donald Trump's desk.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Wednesday after a decline in weekly gasoline inventories. Optimism about the passage of the massive $2 trillion stimulus bill also contributed to oil's rise in the session. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May ended up $0.48 or 2 percent at $24.49 a barrel.

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