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South Korea Bourse May Run Out OF Steam On Wednesday

The South Korea stock market has finished higher in back-to-back sessions, rising more than 55 points or 2.5 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,255-point plateau although it may be stuck in neutral on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on coronavirus concerns, stimulus questions and falling oil prices. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished sharply higher on Tuesday following gains from the oil and chemical companies, while the financials and technology stocks also were mostly in the green.

For the day, the index spiked 39.13 points or 1.76 percent to finish at 2,256.99 after trading between 2,237.21 and 2,266.00. Volume was 851 million shares worth 17.2 trillion won. There were 495 decliners and 344 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial advanced 0.82 percent, while KB Financial collected 0.71 percent, Hana Financial eased 0.17 percent, Samsung Electronics soared 5.40 percent, LG Electronics dipped 0.18 percent, SK Hynix added 0.36 percent, LG Chem accelerated 2.13 percent, Lotte Chemical rose 0.29 percent, S-Oil added 0.65 percent, SK Innovation jumped 1.53 percent, POSCO perked 3.06 percent, SK Telecom rallied 2.64 percent, KEPCO dropped 0.78 percent, Hyundai Motors lost 0.40 percent and Kia Motors was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks moved mostly lower on Tuesday, largely offsetting the upward move seen in the previous session.

The Dow dropped 205.49 points or 0.77 percent to finish at 26,379.28, while the NASDAQ sank 134.18 points or 1.27 percent to end at 10,402.09 and the S&P 500 fell 20.97 points or 0.65 percent to finish at 3,218.44.

The pullback by stocks came as traders kept an eye on developments in Washington after Republicans unveiled their version of a new coronavirus relief bill. The GOP bill includes popular provisions like another $1,200 stimulus payment to American as well as more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.

However, the legislation also slashes unemployment benefits and provides liability protections for businesses and doctors, which could lead to an impasse in negotiations with Democrats.

Negative sentiment was also generated by a report from the Conference Board showing consumer confidence fell more than expected in July.

Traders were also looking ahead to today's Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement. While the Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, traders will look to the accompanying statement for clues about future plans to provide additional economic stimulus.

Crude oil futures settled lower on Tuesday amid concerns about the outlook for near term energy demand due to the surge in coronavirus cases and fears of fresh lockdown measures. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September slid $0.56 or 1.4 percent at $41.04 a barrel.

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