Little Movement Predicted For South Korea Shares

The South Korea stock market headed south again on Wednesday, one session after snapping the two-day slide in which it had stumbled more than 60 points or 2.5 percent. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,340-point plateau and it's expected to remain in that neighborhood again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to lower on fears of continued policy tightening and worldwide recession. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian markets are expected to open in similar fashion.

The KOSPI finished sharply lower on Wednesday following heavy damage among the financial shares, technology stocks and industrials.

For the day, the index plunged 66.12 points or 2.74 percent to finish at the daily low of 2,342.81 after peaking at 2,418.05. Volume was 520.87 million shares worth 8.50 trillion won. There were 870 decliners and 40 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial stumbled 1.39 percent, while KB Financial plunged 4.23 percent, Hana Financial plummeted 5.21 percent, Samsung Electronics shed 1.54 percent, LG Electronics weakened 4.18 percent, SK Hynix declined 3.15 percent, LG Chem retreated 2.64 percent, Lotte Chemical lost 2.06 percent, S-Oil cratered 4.11 percent, SK Innovation surrendered 5.23 percent, POSCO tumbled 3.19 percent, SK Telecom dropped 1.14 percent, KEPCO eased 0.23 percent, Hyundai Motor dipped 0.58 percent and Kia Corporation skidded 1.16 percent.

The lead from Wall Street ends up slightly negative as the major averages opened lower on Wednesday, then spent most of the day in the green before slipping back into negative territory at the close.

The Dow shed 47.12 points or 0.15 percent to finish at 30,483.13, while the NASDAQ lost 16.22 points or 0.15 percent to close at 11,053.08 and the S&P 500 dipped 4.90 points or 0.13 percent to end at 3,759.89.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders reacted to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. Powell indicated the Fed plans to continue moving expeditiously to combat inflation but argued the U.S. economy is strong enough to handle tighter monetary policy.

Powell said the pace of future interest rate hikes will be dependent on incoming data and the evolving outlook for the economy and suggested the Fed will need to see "compelling evidence" that inflation is slowing before it begins to scale back its monetary policy tightening plans.

Crude oil futures tumbled on Wednesday amid concerns about the outlook for energy demand due to slowing global growth following sharp interest rate hikes by central banks. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for August ended lower by $3.33 or 3 percent at $106.19 a barrel, the lowest settlement in six weeks.

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