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South Korea Bourse Poised To Regain 3,000-Point Level

The South Korea stock market has moved higher in two straight sessions, jumping more than 70 points or 2.3 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2,990-point plateau and it figures to extend its gains on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat on solid earnings news and support from crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets ended sharply higher and the Asian bourses are also tipped to open in the green.

The KOSPI finished sharply higher on Thursday following gains from the technology and steel stocks, mixed performances from the financials and oil companies and weakness from the automobile producers.

For the day, the index spiked 44.23 points or 1.50 percent to finish at 2,988.64 after trading between 2,962.33 and 2,988.97. Volume was 607 million shares worth 11.9 trillion won. There were 745 gainers and 130 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial rose 0.26 percent, while KB Financial collected 1.68 percent, Hana Financial fell 0.34 percent, Samsung Electronics advanced 0.87 percent, LG Electronics gained 1.23 percent, SK Hynix jumped 1.96 percent, Naver spiked 3.40 percent, Samsung SDI accelerated 3.13 percent, LG Chem soared 4.96 percent, S-Oil tumbled 1.81 percent, SK Innovation gathered 1.74 percent, POSCO perked 0.77 percent, KEPCO lost 0.44 percent, Hyundai Motor dropped 0.95 percent, Kia Motors eased 0.12 percent and SK Telecom and Lotte Chemical were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is broadly positive as the major averages opened higher on Thursday and stayed comfortably in the green throughout the session.

The Dow surged 534.75 points or 1.56 percent to finish at 34,912.56, while the NASDAQ spiked 251.79 points or 1.73 percent to close at 14,823.43 and the S&P 500 jumped 74.45 points or 1.71 percent to end at 4,438.26.

The rally on Wall Street came as traders reacted positively to a batch of largely upbeat earnings news from several big-name companies, including UnitedHealth (UNH), Bank of America (BAC) and Morgan Stanley (MS).

Adding to the positive sentiment, the Labor Department said that first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits dropped below 300,000 for the first time in well over a year last week.

Crude oil futures settled higher Thursday as the International Energy Agency (IEA) lifted its global oil demand forecast. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November rose $0.87 or 1.1 percent at $81.31 a barrel, the highest level since October 2014.

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