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South Korea Bourse Expected To Snap Losing Streak

The South Korea stock market has moved lower in six straight sessions, tumbling almost 100 points or 3.8 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2,600-point plateau although it's due for support on Wednesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mostly higher, with bargain hunting limited by concerns about economic growth and interest rates. The European markets were up and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished modestly lower on Tuesday following losses from the financials and oil companies, while the technology stocks were mixed.

For the day, the index shed 14.25 points or 0.55 percent to finish at 2,596.56 after trading between 2,553.01 and 2,602.75. Volume was 826.79 million shares worth 10.69 trillion won. There were 614 decliners and 262 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial tanked 3.07 percent, while KB Financial stumbled 1.53 percent, Hana Financial plunged 3.26 percent, Samsung Electronics shed 0.61 percent, Samsung SDI gained 0.34 percent, LG Electronics slumped 1.33 percent, SK Hynix rallied 2.33 percent, Naver rose 0.36 percent, LG Chem sank 0.60 percent, Lotte Chemical retreated 1.30 percent, S-Oil plummeted 4.04 percent, SK Innovation declined 1.71 percent, POSCO tumbled 1.78 percent, SK Telecom jumped 1.72 percent, Hyundai Motor fell 0.55 percent, Kia Motors spiked 1.82 percent and KEPCO was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is murky as the major averages spent most of Tuesday bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before finally settling on opposite sides.

The Dow shed 84.96 points or 0.26 percent to finish at 32,160.74, while the NASDAQ jumped 114.42 points or 0.98 percent to end at 11,737.67 and the S&P 500 added 9.81 points or 0.25 percent to close at 4,001.05.

The volatility came as traders continued to debate whether the markets have reached their bottom following the recent sell-off.

Bargain hunting contributed to early strength on Wall Street as some traders looked to pick up stocks at reduced levels. Buying interest waned over the course of the morning, however, as traders were wary about inflation, higher interest rates and the outlook for the global economy.

Stocks continued to fluctuate over the course of the session as traders looked ahead to the release of key inflation data in the coming days. The latest snapshot of inflation could impact expectations regarding how aggressively the Federal Reserve plans to raise interest rates.

Crude oil prices fell sharply on Tuesday, extending losses from the previous session amid concerns over a likely drop in energy demand. A stronger dollar weighed as well on oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended lower by $3.33 or 3.2 percent at $99.76 a barrel, a two-week low.

Closer to home, South Korea will release unemployment data for April later today; in March, the jobless rate was 2.7 percent.

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