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Tech Shares Expected To Support South Korea Stock Market

The South Korea stock market moved higher again on Friday, one session after it had ended the three-day winning streak in which it had spiked more than 60 points or 3 percent. The KOSPI remains just beneath the 2,030-point plateau and it may tick higher again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mildly positive, largely on optimism over trade. The European markets were down and the U.S. markets were mostly higher and the Asian bourses are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The KOSPI finished slightly higher on Friday following gains from the automobile producers and mixed performances from the financials, technology stocks and oil and chemical companies.

For the day, the index rose 1.06 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 2,029.60 after trading between 2,006.62 and 2,038.89. Volume was 1.08 billion shares worth some 13.8 trillion won. There were 461 decliners and 384 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial shed 0.33 percent, while KB Financial sank 0.58 percent, Hana Financial soared 4.57 percent, Samsung Electronics added 0.60 percent, LG Electronics climbed 1.37 percent, LG Chem increased 0.51 percent, Lotte Chemical lost 0.79 percent, SK Hynix tumbled 2.86 percent, S-Oil eased 0.28 percent, SK Innovation rose 0.42 percent, POSCO skidded 1.90 percent, SK Telecom spiked 1.89 percent, KEPCO advanced 0.93 percent, Hyundai Motors gained 0.82 percent and Kia Motors surged 6.70 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks showed wild swings on Friday before eventually ending the session mostly higher.

The Dow eased 17.53 points or 0.07 percent to finish at 25,283.11, while the NASDAQ jumped 120.88 points or 1.29 percent to 9,489.88 and the S&P 500 rose 14.58 points or 0.48 percent to 3,044.31. For the holiday-shortened week, the Dow spiked 3.8 percent, the NASDAQ jumped 1.8 percent and the S&P soared 3 percent.

The major averages moved to the upside late in the session as traders reacted positively to President Donald Trump's highly anticipated press conference about China. Trump lashed out at China in his brief remarks, but traders seemed relieved that he did not announce new tariffs or a withdrawal from the phase one trade agreement.

Trump also revealed that he is terminating the U.S. relationship with the World Health Organization, claiming China has total control of the agency.

In economic news, the Commerce Department saw an unexpected and substantial increase in U.S. personal income in April, as well as a steep drop in personal spending due to the impact of the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Friday, on hopes of a pickup in energy demand and expectations that major oil producers will extend output cuts beyond this month. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for July ended up $1.78 or 5.3 percent at $35.49 a barrel.

Closer to home, South Korea will release May figures for imports, exports and trade balance later today. Imports are expected to sink 17.9 percent on year after falling 15.9 percent in April. Exports are called lower by an annual 22.1 percent after tumbling 24.3 percent in the previous month. The trade deficit is pegged at $1.1 billion following the $0.95 billion shortfall a month earlier.

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