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South Korea Bourse May Extend Friday's Losses

The South Korea stock market on Friday halted the two-day winning streak in which it had collected almost 25 points or 0.8 percent. The KOSPI now sits just above the 3,085-point plateau and it's expected to open under pressure again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is negative on disappointing earnings news and ongoing concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asia bourses figure to follow suit.

The KOSPI finished sharply lower on Friday following losses from the financial shares, technology stocks and chemical companies.

For the day, the index plummeted 64.03 points or 2.03 percent to finish at 3,085.90 after trading between 3,085.90 and 3,189.90. Volume was 1.3 billion shares worth 22.8 trillion won. There were 626 decliners and 240 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial retreated 2.06 percent, while KB Financial declined 2.90 percent, Hana Financial surrendered 2.80 percent, Samsung Electronics tumbled 1.90 percent, LG Electronics was down 4.76 percent, SK Hynix tanked 2.30 percent, Samsung SDI skidded 1.60 percent, LG Chem sank 3.07 percent, Lotte Chemical plummeted 4.75 percent, S-Oil fell 3.09 percent, SK Innovation rose 0.19 percent, POSCO shed 2.48 percent, SK Telecom dropped 1.57 percent, KEPCO lost 2.50 percent, Hyundai Motor plunged 4.19 percent and Kia Motors cratered 3.66 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks opened sharply lower on Friday; the major averages recouped some of the losses but still finished firmly in the red.

The Dow shed 177.26 points or 0.57 percent to finish at 30,814.26, while the NASDAQ sank 114.14 points or 0.87 percent to end at 12,998.50 and the S&P 500 fell 27.29 points or 0.72 percent to close at 3,768.25. For the week, the Dow lost 0.9 percent and the NASDAQ and S&P both fell 1.5 percent.

The early sell-off on Wall Street reflected a negative reaction to disappointing earnings news from financial giants Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup (C) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

Negative sentiment was also generated by a report from the Commerce Department showing a continued decline in U.S. retail sales in December. But the Federal Reserve released a separate report showing U.S. industrial production jumped much more than expected last month.

Crude oil futures settled sharply lower on Friday as worries about energy demand resurfaced amid rising coronavirus cases and tighter restrictions. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February ended down $1.21 or 2.3 percent at $52.36 a barrel.

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