Little Movement Expected For South Korea Stock Market

The South Korean stock market on Tuesday snapped the two-day winning streak in which it had jumped more than 65 points or 2.1 percent. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 3,000-point plateau and it's likely to remain in that neighborhood again on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed, with support from oil and financial stocks likely to be undercut by weakness from technology shares. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to follow the latter lead.

The KOSPI finished modestly lower on Tuesday following losses from the automobile producers and mixed performances from the financials, technology stocks and chemical companies.

For the day, the index shed 15.92 points or 0.53 percent to finish at 2,997.33 after trading between 2,992.14 and 3,016.36. Volume was 516 million shares worth 10.7 trillion won. There were 499 decliners and 361 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial eased 0.13 percent, while KB Financial climbed 1.24 percent, Hana Financial collected 0.24 percent, Samsung Electronics gained 0.53 percent, LG Electronics plummeted 4.48 percent, SK Hynix fell 0.42 percent, Naver tanked 2.44 percent, LG Chem plunged 3.27 percent, Lotte Chemical rose 0.24 percent, S-Oil advanced 1.15 percent, POSCO spiked 1.96 percent, KEPCO added 0.67 percent, Hyundai Motor retreated 1.60 percent, Kia Motors tumbled 2.33 percent and SK Telecom and SK Innovation were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street remains inconsistent as the Dow and S&P spent Tuesday bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending higher. The NASDAQ spent most of the session in the red and finished that way.

The Dow jumped 194.55 points or 0.55 percent to finish at 35,813.80, while the NASDAQ slipped 79.62 points or 0.50 percent to close at 15,775.14 and the S&P 500 rose 7.76 points or 0.17 percent to end at 4,690.70.

The tech-heavy NASDAQ pulled back further off the record intraday high set in early trading on Monday, as a continued increase in treasury yields weighed on high-growth tech stocks.

Yields have moved notably higher since President Joe Biden announced his intention to nominate Jerome Powell for a second term as Fed Chair. With the upward move, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note ended at its highest closing level in a month.

On the other hand, the Dow benefited from strong gains by financial giants Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

Crude oil futures settled sharply higher on Tuesday, rebounding strongly from earlier losses over the outlook for energy demand due to rising coronavirus cases in Europe, and plans by the U.S. to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January still ended higher by $1.75 or 2.3 percent at $78.50 a barrel.

Closer to home, the Bank of Korea said this morning that business confidence in South Korea was steady in November, with a Business Survey Index (BSI) core of 90 - unchanged from the October reading. The outlook was also unchanged at 88.

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