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Tech Shares May Drag South Korea Into The Red

The South Korea stock market on Wednesday halted the four-day winning streak in which it had collected more than 65 points or 2.8 percent. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,435-point plateau and it may take further damage on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower after the Federal Reserve downgraded its GDP forecast. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were mostly in the red and the Asian markets also figure to open lower.

The KOSPI finished modestly lower on Wednesday following losses from the financial shares, technology stocks and especially the chemical companies - although the automobile producers offered support.

For the day, the index shed 7.66 points or 0.31 percent to finish at 2,435.92 after trading between 2,429.94 and 2,450.53. Volume was 755 million shares worth 11.6 trillion won. There were 543 decliners and 308 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial eased 0.17 percent, while KB Financial skidded 1.17 percent, Hana Financial fell 0.2 percent, LG Electronics sank 1.31 percent, SK Hynix lost 0.49 percent, Samsung SDI shed 0.66 percent, LG Chem plummeted 5.37 percent, Lotte Chemical plunged 2.84 percent, S-Oil gained 0.36 percent, SK Innovation tumbled 1.88 percent, POSCO dipped 0.26 percent, SK Telecom retreated 1.22 percent, KEPCO added 0.49 percent, Hyundai Motor spiked 2.51 percent, Hyundai Mobis soared 3.63 percent, Kia Motors surged 4.70 percent and Samsung Electronics was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street suggests consolidation as stocks were unable to hold early gains on Wednesday, slipping mostly into the red in the final hour of trade.

The Dow added 36.78 points or 0.13 percent to finish at 28,032.38, while the NASDAQ plunged 139.86 points or 1.25 percent to end at 11,050.47 and the S&P 500 fell 15.71 points or 0.46 percent to close at 3,385.49.

The late-day pullback came despite a dovish monetary policy announcement by the Fed, with the central bank leaving interest rates unchanged and signaling rates are likely to remain at near-zero levels for years to come.

But the Fed also downwardly revised its estimates for GDP growth in 2021 and 2022 to 4.0 percent and 3.0 percent, respectively. GDP growth in 2023 was forecast at 2.5 percent.

The sharp drop by the NASDAQ came as big-name tech companies like Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN) gave ground after solid gains a day earlier.

In economic news, the Commerce Department noted a slowdown in the pace of retail sales growth in August. Also, the National Association of Home Builders said homebuilder confidence jumped to a record high in September.

Crude oil prices rose sharply on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session after data showed an unexpected drop in U.S. crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended up $1.88 or 4.9 percent at $40.16 a barrel.

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