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South Korea Bourse May Run Out Of Steam On Wednesday

The South Korea stock market has finished higher in four straight sessions, collecting almost 65 points or 2.2 percent along the way. The KOSPI now sits just above the 3,125-point plateau although investors may cash in on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and fairly flat amid a lack of strong catalysts. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished slightly higher on Tuesday following gains from the technology stocks, weakness from the oil and chemical companies and a mixed picture from the financial sector.

For the day, the index added 6.25 points or 0.20 percent to finish at 3,127.08 after trading between 3,110.19 and 3,139.29. Volume was 1.26 billion shares worth 13.5 trillion won. There were 424 decliners and 412 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 0.41 percent, while KB Financial tanked 2.93 percent, Hana Financial retreated 1.56 percent, Samsung Electronics added 0.70 percent, LG Electronics soared 3.56 percent, Naver rallied 3.05 percent, LG Chem lost 0.61 percent, Lotte Chemical skidded 1.02 percent, S-Oil dropped 1.00 percent, SK Innovation surrendered 1.72 percent, POSCO declined 1.79 percent, SK Telecom advanced 0.90 percent, KEPCO shed 0.63 percent, Hyundai Motor tumbled 1.71 percent, Kia Motors sank 0.70 percent and SK Hynix was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street suggests mild consolidation as the major averages opened lower but then spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before eventually closing slightly in the red.

The Dow shed 96.95 points or 0.29 percent to finish at 33,430.24, while the NASDAQ dipped 7.21 points or 0.05 percent to end at 13,698.38 and the S&P 500 eased 3.97 points or 0.10 percent to close at 4,073.94.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders expressed some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following recent strength.

Meanwhile, traders largely shrugged off news the International Monetary Fund raised its global growth projections for this year and next, citing huge fiscal stimulus in some big economies and a vaccine-driven recovery in the future.

Crude oil prices moved higher on Tuesday, riding a weaker U.S. dollar. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended higher by $0.68 or 1.2 percent at $59.33 a barrel.

Closer to home, South Korea will release February numbers for its current account later this morning; in January, the current account surplus was $7.06 billion.

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