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Tech Shares May Weigh On South Korea Stock Market

The South Korea stock market has moved lower in four straight sessions, sliding almost 65 points or 2.7 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,340-point plateau and it may remain stuck in neutral on Monday.

The global forecast for Asian markets is murky, clouded by uncertainty regarding stimulus in the United States. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished modestly lower on Friday following losses from the technology stocks and industrials, while the financials came in mixed.

For the day, the index lost 19.68 points or 0.83 percent to finish at 2,341.53 after trading between 2,325.03 and 2,370.73. Volume was 908 million shares worth 11 trillion won. There were 622 decliners and 240 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial fell 0.36 percent, while KB Financial advanced 0.90 percent, Hana Financial sank 0.68 percent, Samsung Electronics shed 0.83 percent, LG Electronics was down 1.64 percent, SK Hynix tanked 2.07 percent, LG Chem added 0.47 percent, Lotte Chemical tumbled 1.80 percent, S-Oil rose 0.18 percent, SK Innovation declined 1.42 percent, POSCO retreated 1.46 percent, KEPCO rallied 2.11 percent, Hyundai Motor plunged 2.27 percent, Kia Motors plummeted 3.58 percent and SK Telecom was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is uninspired after stocks opened higher on Friday but faded as the day progressed, eventually ending mixed.

The Dow added 112.11 points or 0.39 percent to finish at 28,606.31, while the NASDAQ sank 42.34 points or 0.36 percent to end at 11,671.56 and the S&P 500 rose 0.47 points or 0.01 percent to close at 3,483.81. For the week, the Dow rose 0.1 percent, the NASDAQ gained 0.8 percent and the S&P was up 0.2 percent.

The late-day pullback on Wall Street reflected lingering uncertainty about a new stimulus bill, with the slump also being attributed to the expiration of equity options.

The rally in early trading came as better than expected retail sales data tempered concerns the economic recovery may be stalling. Also, the University of Michigan reported a bigger than expected improvement in consumer sentiment in October.

Buying interest was also generated after Pfizer (PFE) Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said the drug giant will apply for emergency use of the Covid-19 vaccine it is developing with BioNTech (BNTX) soon after the safety milestone is achieved in the third week of November.

Crude oil prices ended marginally lower on Friday as worries about the demand outlook amid the continued surge in coronavirus cases weighed on the commodity. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended down $0.08 or 0.2 percent at $40.88 a barrel.

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