Continued Consolidation Called For KOSPI

Ahead of Monday's holiday for Hangul Day, the South Korea stock market had moved lower again - one session after halting the three-day losing streak in which it had plummeted more than 150 points or 5 percent. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,955-point plateau and it may extend its losses on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is murky, with interest rate concerns offset by support from crude oil prices. The European markets were mostly higher and the U.S. bourses were down and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished slightly lower on Friday as losses from the financial, oil and technology stocks were offset by support from the automobile and chemical companies.

For the day, the index dipped 3.16 points or 0.11 percent to close at 2,956.30 after trading between 2,949.01 and 2,978.08. Volume was 659 million shares worth 12.5 trillion won. There were 484 gainers and 384 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial retreated 1.76 percent, while KB Financial declined 1.25 percent, Hana Financial surrendered 1.87 percent, Samsung Electronics eased 0.14 percent, LG Electronics plummeted 3.23 percent, SK Hynix tumbled 1.78 percent, Naver skidded 1.27 percent, LG Chem soared 3.66 percent, Lotte Chemical rose 0.21 percent, S-Oil tanked 1.85 percent, SK Innovation dropped 1.59 percent, POSCO perked 0.16 percent, SK Telecom plunged 3.49 percent, KEPCO sank 0.87 percent, Hyundai Motor accelerated 1.99 percent, Kia Motors soared 2.63 percent and Hyundai Mobis rallied 2.11 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as the major averages opened higher on Monday but faded as the day progressed and ended firmly in the red.

The Dow dropped 250.19 points or 0.72 percent to finish at 34,496.06, while the NASDAQ sank 93.34 points or 0.64 percent to close at 14,486.20 and the S&P 500 lost 30.15 points or 0.69 percent to end at 4,361.19.

Lingering concerns about the Federal Reserve scaling back its asset purchases weighed on Wall Street, as last Friday's disappointing job report is not seen as likely to dissuade the central bank from tapering.

Trading activity was somewhat subdued, however, as some traders remained away from their desks for Columbus Day, also known as Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Crude oil futures spiked Monday with falling inventories, the OPEC decision to stick with a gradual production increase, and the ongoing energy crunch supporting oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November rose $1.17 or 1.5 percent to $80.52 a barrel.

Closer to home, the Bank of Korea will wrap up its monetary policy meeting this morning and then announce its decision on interest rates. The central bank is widely expected to keep its benchmark lending rate unchanged at 0.75 percent.

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