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South Korea Bourse May Add To Its Winnings

The South Korea stock market has finished higher in two of three trading days since the end of the two-day slide in which it had fallen almost 25 points or 1.2 percent. The KOSPI now rests just above the 1,925-point plateau and it's looking at another green light for Monday's trade.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside on optimism that some countries are taking steps to reopen following the Covid-19 pandemic. The European and U.S. markets were up on Friday amid considerable volatility and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow suit.

The KOSPI finished slightly higher on Friday following gains from the financial shares and oil companies.

For the day, the index gained 2.32 points or 0.12 percent to finish at 1,927.28 after trading between 1,913.21 and 1,938.59. Volume was 850 million shares worth 9.55 trillion won. There were 485 gainers and 360 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 1.56 percent, while KB Financial accelerated 1.62 percent, Hana Financial spiked 2.22 percent, Samsung Electronics shed 0.31 percent, LG Electronics added 0.37 percent, LG Chem rose 0.58 percent, SK Hynix jumped 1.61 percent, S-Oil soared 3.28 percent, SK Innovation advanced 0.85 percent, SK Telecom skidded 1.45 percent, KEPCO plummeted 4.97 percent, Kia Motors climbed 1.39 percent and Lotte Chemical, Hyundai Motors and POSCO were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks saw considerable volatility Friday after coming under pressure early in the session. The major averages bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually ending higher.

The Dow added 60.08 points or 0.25 percent to 23,685.42, while the NASDAQ climbed 70.84 points or 0.79 percent to 9,014.56 and the S&P 500 rose 11.20 points or 0.39 percent to 2,863.70. For the week, the Dow shed 2.7 percent, the S&P fell 2.3 percent and the NASDAQ lost 1.2 percent.

The higher close on Wall Street came as traders shrugged off some dismal U.S. economic data, including reports showing record decreases in retail sales and industrial production in April.

Concerns about the economy were offset by a University of Michigan report showing an unexpected improvement in consumer sentiment in May, as well as ongoing plans for states and countries to reopen.

Crude oil futures ended sharply higher on Friday, extending recent gains amid hopes for some gains in energy demand, and on hopes the output cuts from major producers will support prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended up $1.87 or 6.8 percent at $29.43 a barrel.

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