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South Korea Bourse Overdue For Support On Friday

The South Korea stock market has moved lower in eight straight sessions, tumbling more than 140 points or 5.5 percent to an 18-month closing low. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,650-point plateau although it's expected to finally stop the bleeding on Friday.

The global forecast is murky amidst uncertainties about interest rates and economic growth. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished sharply lower on Thursday following losses from the technology and chemical companies, while the financials offered support.

For the day, the index retreated 42.19 points or 1.63 percent to finish at 2,550.08 after trading between 2,546.80 and 2,591.57. Volume was 883.2 million shares worth 11.93 trillion won. There were 794 decliners and 117 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial climbed 1.36 percent, while KB Financial strengthened 1.41 percent, Hana Financial collected 0.34 percent, Samsung Electronics skidded 1.22 percent, Samsung SDI sank 3.42 percent, LG Electronics plunged 2.75 percent, SK Hynix declined 1.36 percent, Naver cratered 3.23 percent, LG Chem plummeted 6.63 percent, Lotte Chemical tumbled 1.83 percent, S-Oil rallied 2.83 percent, SK Innovation retreated 1.50 percent, POSCO shed 0.55 percent, SK Telecom added 0.34 percent, KEPCO gained 0.68 percent, Hyundai Motor stumbled 1.37 percent, Hyundai Mobis tanked 2.27 percent and Kia Motors rose 0.23 percent.

The lead from Wall Street offers little clarity as the major averages opened lower on Thursday and spent much of the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before finally ending mixed and little moved.

The Dow dropped 103.81 points or 0.33 percent to finish at 31,730.30, while the NASDAQ rose 6.73 points or 0.06 percent to close at 11,370.96 and the S&P 500 fell 5.10 points or 0.13 percent to end at 3,930.08.

The volatility on Wall Street came as traders continued to debate whether the markets have hit their bottom, with the major averages falling to their worst levels in over a year.

However, recent bargain hunting efforts have largely been thwarted by worries about the Federal Reserve aggressively raising interest rates in an effort to combat elevated inflation.

Adding to the worries, the Labor Department reported that the annual rate of producer price growth slowed less than expected in April. Also, the Labor Department unexpectedly showed a slight increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits last week.

Crude oil futures ended modestly higher on Thursday as the European Union's proposal to ban Russian oil offset concerns of prolonged Covid-19 lockdowns in China. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended higher by $0.42 or 0.4 percent at $106.13 a barrel.

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