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South Korea Stock Market Likely To Run Out Of Steam

The South Korea stock market has finished higher in six straight sessions, gathering more than 55 points or 2.4 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,450-point plateau although investors figure to cash in on Tuesday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation amid concerns over growth and sinking oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were slightly lower and the Asian bourses are expected to follow that lead.

The KOSPI finished barely higher on Monday as gains from the shipbuilders and chemicals were offset by weakness from the financials and technology stocks.

For the day, the index was up 0.75 points or 0.03 percent to finish at 2,452.25 after trading between 2,437.13 and 2,461.40. Volume was 480.94 million shares worth 7.4 trillion won. There were 490 gainers and 346 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial tumbled 1.82 percent, while KB Financial skidded 1.03 percent, Hana Financial sank 0.81 percent, Samsung Electronics eased 0.16 percent, Samsung SDI rallied 2.46 percent, SK Hynix slumped 0.82 percent, LG Chem strengthened 1.66 percent, Lotte Chemical climbed 1.13 percent, S-Oil rose 0.11 percent, SK Innovation lost 0.80 percent, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine soared 3.78 percent, Samsung Heavy surged 3.56 percent, Korea Shipbuilding rallied 2.01 percent, Daewoo Engineering advanced 0.95 percent, POSCO dropped 0.83 percent, KEPCO retreated 1.34 percent, Kia Motors declined 0.99 percent and SK Telecom, Hyundai Motor, LG Electronics and Naver were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street ends up mildly negative as the major averages opened lower on Monday and bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before finally ending slightly in the red.

The Dow shed 45.95 points or 0.14 percent to finish at 32,799.18, while the NASDAQ fell 21.71 points or 018 percent to close at 12,368.98 and the S&P 500 dipped 11.67 points or 0.28 percent to end at 4,118.62.

Worries about slowing growth weighed on sentiment, but fairly encouraging corporate earnings updates helped limit market's downside.

In addition, investors are looking ahead to the crucial non-farm payroll data due later in the week.

In economic news, the S&P Global US Manufacturing PMI was revised slightly lower in July, while the Commerce Department said U.S. construction spending fell more than expected in June. Also, the Institute for Supply Management's Manufacturing PMI was down slightly in July but not as much as feared.

Crude oil prices fell sharply on Monday amid concerns about outlook for energy demand and ahead of this week's OPEC+ meeting. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended lower by $4.73 or 4.8 percent at $93.89 a barrel.

Closer to home, South Korea will provide July data for consumer prices later this morning, with forecasts suggesting an increase of 0.4 percent on month and 6.3 percent on year. That follows the 0.6 percent monthly increase and the 6.0 percent yearly gain in June.

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