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Win Streak May Continue For South Korea Bourse

The South Korea stock market has finished higher in three straight sessions, rising more than 60 points or 2.8 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,260-point plateau and it may extend its winning streak on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on solid earnings news and economic data. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses moved higher and the Asian markets are expected to follow the latter lead.

The KOSPI finished slightly higher on Wednesday following gains from the financial shares, technology stocks and automobile producers.

For the day, the index added 6.27 points or 0.27 percent to finish at 2,263.16 after trading between 2,252.24 and 2,276.79. Volume was 885 million shares worth 15.3 trillion won. There were 427 gainers and 396 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 0.98 percent, while KB Financial climbed 1.40 percent, Hana Financial soared 3.48 percent, Samsung Electronics gained 0.68 percent, LG Electronics dropped 0.92 percent, SK Hynix rose 0.12 percent, LG Display perked 1.21 percent, LG Chem eased 0.19 percent, S-Oil was up 0.16 percent, SK Innovation tumbled 1.50 percent, POSCO fell 0.25 percent, SK Telecom gathered 1.17 percent, KEPCO advanced 1.04 percent, Hyundai Motors jumped 1.63 percent, Kia Motors surged 5.17 percent and Lotte Chemical was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is positive as stocks opened higher on Wednesday and picked up steam as the day progressed.

The Dow added 160.29 points or 0.61 percent to finish at 26,539.57, while the NASDAQ spiked 140.85 points or 1.35 percent to end at 10,542.94 and the S&P 500 rose 40.00 points or 1.24 percent to close at 3,258.44.

Early buying interest was partly generated by the latest batch of earnings news, with a number of big-name companies reporting better than expected quarterly results including Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and C.H. Robinson (CHRW).

The strength on Wall Street also reflected a report from the National Association of Realtors showing another significant increase in pending home sales in June.

Stocks saw continued strength after the Federal Reserve announced its widely expected decision to leave interest rates at near-zero levels amid the economic hardship imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Wednesday after data showed a larger than expected decline in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended up $0.23 or 0.6 percent at $41.27 a barrel.

Closer to home, South Korea's manufacturing business sentiment strengthened in July, the Bank of Korea said this morning, with an index score of 57.0 - up from 51.0 in June. The outlook for the following month also rose by 9 points to 60.0.

In the non-manufacturing sector, the BSI on business conditions for July 2020 was 62, up 2 points from the previous month, and that for the outlook for the following month also rose by 1 point to 60.

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