Profit Taking Among Techs May Weigh On KOSPI

The South Korean stock market has tracked higher in back-to-back sessions, advancing more than 65 points or 2.1 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 3,010-point plateau although investors may cash in on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower, with technology stocks expected to weigh - although support from crude oil prices should limit the downside. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

The KOSPI finished sharply higher on Monday following gains from the technology stocks and automobile producers.

For the day, the index spiked 42.23 points or 1.42 percent to finish at 3,013.25 after trading between 2,980.73 and 3,018.01. Volume was 524 million shares worth 12.8 trillion won. There were 490 gainers and 372 decliners.

Among the actives, KB Financial shed 0.53 percent, while Hana Financial fell 0.24 percent, Samsung Electronics surged 5.20 percent, LG Electronics improved 0.37 percent, SK Hynix skyrocketed 7.17 percent, Naver climbed 1.49 percent, LG Chem advanced 0.92 percent, Lotte Chemical jumped 1.43 percent, S-Oil tanked 2.03 percent, SK Innovation gathered 1.39 percent, POSCO perked 1.08 percent, Hyundai Mobis rallied 4.20 percent, Hyundai Motor spiked 4.30 percent, Kia Motors accelerated 2.27 percent and Shinhan Financial, SK Telecom and KEPCO were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is not encouraging as the major averages opened higher on Monday but tumbled late in the day, with only the Dow managing to barely hang on to positive territory.

The Dow rose 17.27 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 35,619.25, while the NASDAQ plunged 202.68 points or 1.26 percent to close at 15,854.76 and the S&P fell 15.02 points or 0.32 percent to end at 4,682.94.

The mixed close on Wall Street came after President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Jerome Powell for a second term as Federal Reserve Chair. The White House also revealed that Biden intends to nominate current Fed Governor Lael Brainard as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve System.

While the re-nomination of Powell will give the Fed stability as it grapples with the economic recovery and elevated inflation, Brainard was seen as the more dovish choice.

Crude oil futures settled higher Monday despite rising concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to a surge in coronavirus cases in several countries. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December rose $0.81 or 1.1 percent at $76.75 a barrel.

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