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South Korea Bourse May Extend Thursday's Losses

The South Korea stock market on Thursday snapped the three-day winning streak in which it had spiked more than 60 points or 3 percent. The KOSPI now sits just beneath the 2,030-point plateau and it may take further damage on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on renewed geopolitical concerns between the United States and China. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets are expected to follow the latter lead.

The KOSPI finished slightly lower on Thursday following losses from oil and chemical companies, gains from the financials and a mixed picture from the technology stocks.

For the day, the index eased 2.66 points or 0.13 percent to finish at 2,028.54 after trading between 2,003.75 and 2,054.52. Volume was 1.15 billion shares worth some 14.2 trillion won. There were 689 decliners and 177 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial jumped 1.68 percent, while KB Financial soared 3.32 percent, Hana Financial surged 4.60 percent, Samsung Electronics climbed 1.00 percent, LG Electronics tumbled 1.83 percent, LG Chem retreated 1.77 percent, SK Hynix spiked 3.07 percent, S-Oil sank 1.12 percent, SK Innovation plunged 3.67 percent, POSCO perked 1.10 percent, SK Telecom advanced 0.95 percent, KEPCO dropped 0.93 percent, Hyundai Motors dropped 0.92 percent, Kia Motors added 0.47 percent and Lotte Chemical was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks opened higher on Thursday and stayed that way through much of the session before falling under pressure late and ending in the red.

The Dow shed 147.63 points or 0.58 percent to finish at 25,400.64, while the NASDAQ lost 43.37 points or 0.46 percent to end at 9,368.99 and the S&P 500 fell 6.40 points or 0.21 percent to close at 3,029.73.

The late-day pullback on Wall Street was attributed to President Donald Trump announcing plans to hold a news conference about China later today. China has recently stepped up efforts to curtail Hong Kong's independence, raising concerns that Trump may announce new measures that ramp up recent tensions with China.

The strength seen for much of the day came following the release of a report from the Labor Department showing a continued decrease in first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Thursday, driven by a drop in gasoline inventories in the U.S. amid an increase in demand thanks to reopening of businesses in almost all the states in the country. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended up $0.90 or 2.7 percent at $33.71 a barrel.

Closer to home, South Korea will provide April data for industrial production and retail sales later this morning.

Industrial production is tipped to fall3.2 percent on month and 0.5 percent on year after rising 4.6 percent on month and 7.1 percent on year in March. Retail sales were down 1.0 percent on month and 8.0 percent on year in the previous month.

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