South Korea Stock Market May Snap Losing Streak

The South Korea stock market has finished lower in back-to-back sessions, tumbling more than 60 points or 2.5 percent along the way. Now at a fresh 19-month closing low, the KOSPI rests just above the 2,390-point plateau although it may stop the bleeding on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is cautiously optimistic, with support expected from the financials, technology stocks and oil companies. The European markets were solidly higher and the U.S. bourses were off on holiday and the Asian markets figure to open in the green.

The KOSPI finished sharply lower on Monday following losses from the financial shares, technology stocks and oil companies.

For the day, the index plunged 49.90 points or 2.04 percent to finish at 2,391.03 after trading between 2,372.35 and 2,449.89. Volume was 583 million shares worth 9 trillion won. There were 585 decliners and 62 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial shed 0.75 percent, while KB Financial stumbled 1.34 percent, Hana Financial slumped 1.53 percent, Samsung Electronics retreated 1.84 percent, Samsung SDI added 0.54 percent, LG Electronics sank 3.22 percent, SK Hynix tumbled 1.97 percent, Naver declined 1.47 percent, LG Chem skidded 1.04 percent, Lotte Chemical rallied 2.34 percent, S-Oil tanked 2.16 percent, SK Innovation surrendered 2.22 percent, POSCO plunged 3.81 percent, SK Telecom jumped 1.54 percent, KEPCO plummeted 4.41 percent, Hyundai Motor rose 0.29 percent and Kia Motors dropped 0.79 percent.

Wall Street and many of the commodity markets were off on Monday for the Juneteenth holiday, but the European markets finished with solid gains.

Germany's DAX jumped 139.34 points or 1.06 percent to finish at 13,265..60, London's FTSE spiked 105.56 points or 1.50 percent to close at 7,121.81 and the CAC 40 in France gained 37.44 points or 0.64 percent to end at 5,920.09.

Bargain hunting was a big part of that following the weakness from last week that were fueled by worries about a recession and bets of bigger interest-rate hikes from major central banks.

The rally was also fueled by European Central bank President Christine Lagarde, who reaffirmed on Monday that the ECB will hike interest rates by 25 basis points twice this summer to fight inflation. Investors had worried that sharper rate hikes might be on the docket, sparking recession concerns.

Investors also await a congressional appearance by U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell this week that could highlight the U.S. central bank's resolve to guide inflation back to the Fed's 2 percent target.

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