Profit Taking Anticipated For South Korea Stock Market

The South Korea stock market has climbed higher in five straight sessions, advancing more than 60 points or 1.9 percent on its way to a fresh record closing high. The KOSPI now sits just beneath the 3,280-point plateau although it's ripe for consolidation on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests consolidation in reaction to the FOMC's monetary policy announcement. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets are tipped to follow the latter lead.

The KOSPI finished modestly higher again on Wednesday following gains from the financials and automobile producers, weakness from the oil and chemical companies and a mixed picture from the technology stocks.

For the day, the index added 20.05 points or 0.62 percent to finish at 3,278.68 after trading between 3,256.68 and 3,281.96. Volume was 2.2 billion shares worth 15.9 trillion won. There were 519 gainers and 324 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial jumped 1.94 percent, while KB Financial collected 1.79 percent, Hana Financial rallied 2.79 percent, Samsung Electronics climbed 1.10 percent, LG Electronics lost 0.63 percent, SK Hynix advanced 0.78 percent, Samsung SDI added 0.46 percent, Naver gathered 1.03 percent, LG Chem retreated 1.46 percent, Lotte Chemical slid 0.36 percent, S-Oil dropped 0.95 percent, SK Innovation sank 0.87 percent, POSCO perked 0.88 percent, SK Telecom shed 0.61 percent, KEPCO rose 0.19 percent, Hyundai Motor accelerated 1.05 percent and Kia Motors added 0.79 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks opened mixed and flat on Wednesday, but they all headed firmly lower into the close.

The Dow sank 265.66 points or 0.77 percent to finish at 34,033.67, while the NASDAQ shed 33.17 points or 0.24 percent to end at 14,039.68 and the S&P 500 fell 22.89 points or 0.54 percent to close at 4,223.70.

The weakness on Wall Street came as the Fed's latest economic projections now point to an increase in interest rates in 2023.

The latest projections from Fed officials suggest interest rates will be increased to 0.6 percent in 2023 compared to previous projections indicating rates would remain at near-zero levels. Seven officials expect a rate hike as soon as 2022.

As expected, the Fed also maintained its target range for the federal funds rate at zero to 0.25 percent, where it has remained since last March. The Fed said it expects rates to remain at near-zero levels until labor market conditions reach maximum employment and inflation is on track to moderately exceed 2 percent for some time.

Crude oil futures failed to hold early gains and settled roughly flat on Wednesday, despite data showing a larger than expected drop in crude inventories last week. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for July ended up by $0.03 at $72.15 a barrel after peaking earlier at $72.99.

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