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Higher Open Predicted For South Korea Stock Market

The South Korea stock market has finished higher in five straight sessions, rising almost 70 points or 2.2 percent along the way. The KOSPI now sits just beneath the 3,200-point plateau and it's looking at another green light for Monday's trade.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside on continued optimism for economic recovery. The European and U.S. markets were up on Friday and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The KOSPI finished slightly higher on Friday as gains from the automobile producers and chemical companies were capped by weakness from the financial sector and technology companies.

For the day, the index added 4.29 points or 0.13 percent to finish at 3,198.62 after trading between 3,185.67 and 3,206.76. Volume was 961 million shares worth 14.6 trillion won. There were 530 gainers and 310 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial skidded 1.47 percent, while KB Financial tanked 2.41 percent, Hana Financial retreated 1.56 percent, Samsung Electronics shed 0.24 percent, LG Electronics plunged 2.03 percent, Naver rose 0.13 percent, LG Chem gained 0.67 percent, Lotte Chemical perked 0.53 percent, S-Oil increased 0.38 percent, POSCO lost 0.72 percent, SK Telecom improved 0.50 percent, KEPCO sank 0.62 percent, Hyundai Motor added 0.43 percent, Kia Motors spiked 2.00 percent and SK Hynix and SK Innovation were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street ends up being positive as the major averages shook off a mixed open on Friday to finish modestly in the green.

The Dow jumped 164.68 points or 0.48 percent to finish at 34,200.67, while the NASDAQ rose 13.58 points or 0.10 percent to end at 14,052.34 and the S&P 500 gained 15.05 points or 0.36 percent to close at 4,185.47. For the week, the S&P spiked 1.4 percent, the Dow rose 1.2 percent and the NASDAQ gained 1.1 percent.

Upbeat earnings news generated continued buying interest, as Morgan Stanley (MS) joined other financial giants in reporting better than expected first quarter earnings.

In economic news, the Commerce Department noted a substantial rebound in new residential construction in March, while the University of Michigan said sentiment has continued to improve in April.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday, snapping a four-session winning streak but still finishing sharply higher for the week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May were down $0.33 or 0.5 percent at $63.13 a barrel, although the contract gained nearly 6.5 percent in the week.

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