South Korea Stock Market May Test Support At 3,100 Points

The South Korea stock market on Friday wrote a finish to the three-day losing streak in which it had tumbled more than 90 points or 2.9 percent. The KOSPI now rests just above the 3,125-point plateau although it's likely to head south again on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on ongoing coronavirus concerns. The European markets were mixed and little changed and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Friday as gains from the technology stocks and telecoms were offset by weakness from the financials and automobile producers.

For the day, the index added 11.06 points or 0.36 percent to finish at 3,125.76 after trading between 3,103.38 and 3,131.54. Volume was 712 million shares worth 13.4 trillion won. There were 552 gainers and 302 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial retreated 1.29 percent, while KB Financial shed 0.58 percent, Hana Financial declined 1.02 percent, LG Electronics surged 3.53 percent, SK Hynix jumped 1.94 percent, Naver rallied 2.76 percent, LG Chem skidded 1.07 percent, S-Oil lost 0.31 percent, SK Innovation climbed 1.21 percent, POSCO perked 0.14 percent, SK Telecom spiked 1.82 percent, KEPCO advanced 0.86 percent, Hyundai Motor dropped 0.96 percent, Kia Motors plummeted 4.07 percent, Hyundai Mobis plunged 3.25 percent and Samsung Electronics and Lotte Chemical were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative spent Friday's session bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before finally ending in the red, extending recent losses.

The Dow shed 271.68 points or 0.78 percent to finish at 34,607.72, while the NASDAQ lost 132.81 points or 0.87 percent to end at 15,115.49 and the S&P 500 fell 34.70 points or 0.77 percent to close at 4,458.58. For the week, the Dow lost 2.2 percent, the NASDAQ sank 1.6 percent and the S&P fell 1.7 percent.

Some initial strength on Wall Street came on bargain hunting, but buying interest quickly waned as traders continued to express concerns about the economic impact of the delta variant.

Traders may also have been wary of buying stocks ahead of the Federal Reserve's next monetary policy meeting later this month. The Fed may provide an update on the plans for its asset purchase program, although recent signs of slowing economic momentum could lead the central bank to push back tapering.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department reported that producer prices increased by slightly more than expected in August.

Crude oil futures settled sharply higher Friday on signs of a drop in crude supply in the U.S. due to the impact of Hurricane Ida. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October ended up $1.58 or 2.3 percent at $69.72 a barrel. WTI crude futures gained 0.6 percent for the week.

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