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South Korea Bourse May Run Out Of Steam On Wednesday

The South Korea stock market has climbed higher in three straight sessions, collecting almost 35 points or 1.1 percent along the way. The KOSPI now sits just shy of the 3,150-point plateau although investors figure to cash in on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft due to the outlook for interest rates, despite encouraging data. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Tuesday as gains from the financials, oil companies and automobile producers were capped by weakness from the chemical companies and a mixed picture from the technology shares.

For the day, the index gained 20.97 points or 0.67 percent to finish at 3,148.83 after trading between 3,137.32 and 3,164.31. Volume was 700 million shares worth 15.4 trillion won. There were 607 gainers and 251 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial spiked 1.82 percent, while KB Financial collected 0.97 percent, Hana Financial accelerated 2.61 percent, Samsung Electronics added 0.39 percent, LG Electronics fell 0.35 percent, SK Hynix advanced 0.94 percent, Naver skidded 1.35 percent, S-Oil soared 2.62 percent, SK Innovation rallied 2.61 percent, LG Chem tumbled 1.74 percent, Lotte Chem sank 0.78 percent, POSCO tanked 2.27 percent, Hyundai Steel retreated 1.67 percent, Hyundai Auto jumped 1.95 percent and Kia advanced 0.97 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as the major averages opened higher on Tuesday but quickly turned lower and finished in the red.

The Dow tumbled 292.06 points or 0.84 percent to finish at 34,577.57, while the NASDAQ sank 67.82 points or 0.45 percent to close at 15,037.76 and the S&P 500 fell 25.68 points or 0.57 percent to end at 4,443.05.

Stocks initially benefited from a positive reaction to a highly anticipated Labor Department report showing consumer prices increased less than expected in August. The relatively tame inflation data generated optimism that the Federal Reserve may delay plans to begin scaling back stimulus.

However, subsequent comments from economists suggested that the Fed is still likely to begin tapering its asset purchases as soon as December.

The Fed is scheduled to hold a monetary policy meeting next week, with many expecting the central bank to provide an update on the outlook for its asset purchase program.

Crude oil futures settled slightly higher Tuesday after the Labor Department said U.S. consumer prices increased less than expected last month, while traders also weighed the impact of tropical storm Nicholas. Crude oil futures settled at $70.46 a barrel, up a penny from the previous close.

Closer to home, South Korea will see August unemployment data later this morning; in July, the jobless rate was 3.3 percent.

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