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South Korea Stock Due For Profit Taking

The South Korea stock market has climbed higher in five straight sessions, gathering more than 100 points or 4.5 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,350-point plateau although investors may cash in on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets remains mired in uncertainty, balancing better than expected economic data, tumbling crude oil prices and continued uncertainty over stimulus. The European and U.S. markets were slightly higher and the Asian markets now look to open roughly flat.

The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the oil companies and automobile producers were limited by weakness from the financial sector and technology stocks.

For the day, the index collected 9.06 points or 0.39 percent to finish at 2,351.67 after trading between 2,333.62 and 2,362.24. Volume was 802 million shares worth 17.3 trillion won. There were 462 decliners and 382 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial tumbled 1.63 percent, while KB Financial skidded 1.09 percent, Hana Financial dipped 0.17 percent, Samsung Electronics dropped 0.86 percent, SK Hynix shed 0.62 percent, LG Chem surged 9.71 percent, Lotte Chemical sank 1.06 percent, S-Oil advanced 0.81 percent, SK Innovation skyrocketed 12.54 percent, POSCO tanked 1.99 percent, SK Telecom soared 3.85 percent, KEPCO climbed 1.29 percent, Hyundai Motors accelerated 1.73 percent, Kia Motors rose 0.24 percent and LG Electronics was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks opened lower Friday and remained in the red throughout much of the day until a late rally pushed the Dow and S&P barely into the green - although the NASDAQ stayed negative on profit taking after big gains last week.

The Dow added 46.50 points or 0.17 percent to finish at 27,433.48, while the NASDAQ dropped 97.09 points or 0.87 percent to end at 11,010.98 and the S&P 500 rose 2.12 points or 0.06 percent to close at 3,351.28.

The uncertainty on Wall Street was the result of growing uncertainty about a new coronavirus relief plan following the failure of the lawmakers to arrive at an agreement amid reports of spiked in various cases around the world.

Tensions between the U.S. and China have escalated following the Trump administration unveiling a ban on U.S. transactions with ByteDance's TikTok and Tencent-owned WeChat.

In economic data, the Labor Department reported a larger than expected increase in employment last month as the jobless rate fell to 10.2 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower Friday on concerns about outlook for energy demand after reports showed spikes in coronavirus cases in several parts across the world. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for September ended down $0.67 or 1.6 percent at $41.28 a barrel. For the week, WTI crude oil futures gained 2.1 percent.

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