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South Korea Shares Tipped To Open Under Pressure

The South Korea stock market bounced higher again on Friday, one session after it had ended the two-day winning streak in which it had advanced nearly 35 points or 1.7 percent. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2,135-point plateau although it's likely to see renewed consolidation on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on spiking Covid-19 cases and poor results from bank stress tests. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were sharply lower and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The KOSPI finished sharply higher on Friday following gains from the financial shares, technology stocks and industrial issues.

For the day, the index jumped 22.28 points or 1.05 percent to finish at 2,134.65 after trading between 2,115.25 and 2,142.04. Volume was 728 million shares worth 9.4 trillion won. There were 432 gainers and 395 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 1.37 percent, while KB Financial spiked 3.11 percent, Hana Financial accelerated 2.61 percent, Samsung Electronics soared 2.70 percent, SK Hynix gained 0.36 percent, S-Oil dropped 0.92 percent, SK Innovation climbed 1.49 percent, Lotte Chemical increased 0.88 percent, POSCO perked 1.67 percent, SK Telecom gathered 2.71 percent, KEPCO added 0.78 percent, Hyundai Motors rose 0.60 percent, Kia Motors jumped 1.54 percent and LG Electronics and Samsung SDI were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is broadly negative as stocks opened sharply lower on Friday and stayed that way throughout the session.

The Dow plummeted 730.05 points or 2.84 percent to finish at 25,015.55, while the NASDAQ tumbled 259.78 points or 2.59 percent to end at 9,757.22 and the S&P 500 sank 74.71 points or 2.42 percent to close at 3,009.05.

The weakness on Wall Street was due largely to a sharp surge in new Covid-19 infections in several states, raising fears of re-imposing restrictions on businesses. The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has warned that the number of infected people in the U.S. is most likely 10 times higher than what has been officially reported.

Financials turned lower after the Fed released the results of stress tests on banks - which said the nation's biggest banks are healthy but could suffer up to $700 billion in losses on soured loans if the economy languishes. It also ordered certain banks to cap dividends to conserve funds.

Crude oil futures settled lower on Friday, weighed down by concerns over energy demand outlook in the wake of sharp spikes in new coronavirus infections in several states in the U.S. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended down $0.23 or 0.6 percent at $38.49 a barrel.

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