South Korea Stock Market May Test Resistance At 3,000 Points

The South Korea stock market has moved higher in two straight sessions, advancing more than 45 points or 1.5 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,970-point plateau and it's tipped to open in the green again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive, primarily riding a surge in crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets was modest gains and the Asian bourses figure to follow suit.

The KOSPI finished sharply higher on Wednesday following gains from the technology stocks, oil companies and industrials, while the financials were also mostly in the green.

For the day, the index jumped 45.10 points or 1.54 percent to finish at 2,972.48 after trading between 2,950.31 and 2,972.58. Volume was 506 million shares worth 10.8 trillion won. There were 730 gainers and 140 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 1.92 percent, while KB Financial spiked 3.17 percent, Hana Financial fell 0.32 percent, LG Electronics rallied 4.98 percent, SK Hynix rose 0.39 percent, Naver accelerated 3.13 percent, Samsung SDI surged 5.10 percent, LG Chem soared 5.31 percent, Lotte Chemical climbed 1.14 percent, S-Oil jumped 1.90 percent, SK Innovation skyrocketed 9.52 percent, POSCO perked 1.83 percent, SK Telecom dipped 0.18 percent, KEPCO advanced 0.93 percent, Hyundai Motor added 0.48 percent, Kia Motors improved 1.19 percent and Samsung Electronics was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as the major averages opened higher on Wednesday, faded soon after but rebounded enough to end in the green.

The Dow added 38.30 points or 0.11 percent to finish at 36,290.32, while the NASDAQ gained 34.94 points or 0.23 percent to close at 15,188.39 and the S&P 500 rose 13.28 points or 0.28 percent to end at 4,726.35.

The modest strength on Wall Street followed the Labor Department's highly anticipated report on consumer price inflation in December. While the report showed the annual rate of consumer price growth once again reached the highest level in almost 40 years, traders seemed relieved the acceleration was not even more significant.

Treasury yields moved to the downside following the release of the report, offsetting some of the interest rate concerns that dragged the markets lower to start the year.

Crude oil prices spiked again on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session. Oil prices continued to benefit from optimism about the outlook for energy demand amid indications of tight near-term supply. West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery jumped $1.42 or 1.7 percent to $82.64 a barrel.

Closer to home, the Bank of Korea said on Thursday morning that export prices jumped 23.5 percent on year in December, slowing from 25.5 percent in November. On a monthly basis export prices sank 1.0 percent after falling 0.9 percent in the previous month.

Import prices surged an annual 29.7 percent last month after soaring 35.0 percent in November; import prices were down 1.9 percent on month after slipping 1.0 percent a month earlier.

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