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South Korea Stock Market May Extend Gains

The South Korea stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last four trading days since the end of the four-day winning streak in which it had gathered almost 50 points or 2.2 percent. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2,230-point plateau although it may tick slightly higher again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild upside, nudged into the green by support from crude oil prices. The European and U.S. markets were up and the Asian markets are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The KOSPI finished sharply higher on Wednesday following gains from the technology stocks and industrials, while the financials were mixed.

For the day, the index climbed 24.13 points or 1.09 percent to finish at 2,229.76 after trading between 2,213.83 and 2,234.68. Volume was 369.03 million shares worth 5.84 trillion won. There were 409 gainers and 408 decliners.

Among the actives, Samsung Electronics spiked 2.07 percent, while SK hynix soared 2.71 percent, Shinhan Financial collected 0.58 percent, KB Financial dipped 0.43 percent, Hana Financial rose 0.25 percent, Hyundai Motor shed 0.42 percent, Asiana Airlines dipped 0.36 percent, POSCO perked 1.86 percent, KEPCO advanced 1.2 percent and SK Telecom was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic as stocks continued to experience choppy trading, bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line before ending slightly higher.

The Dow added 63.12 points or 0.24 percent to 25,954.44, while the NASDAQ gained 2.30 points or 0.03 percent to 7,489.07 and the S&P rose 4.94 points or 0.18 percent to 2,784.70.

The choppy trading came as traders digested the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting, which provided further insight into the central bank's decision to change its forward guidance and indicate a patient approach to raising interest rates.

The minutes also showed officials discussed a plan to end the reduction of bonds on the Fed's balance sheet before the end of 2019

Traders also seemed reluctant to make significant moves as they wait for developments regarding the latest round of trade talks between the U.S. and China. Officials from the U.S. and China are meeting in Washington this week as the world's two largest economies attempt to reach a long-term trade deal.

Brent crude soared 63 cents or 0.95 percent to a fresh 2019 high of $67.08 dollars per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil surged 77 cents or 1.36 percent to $57.22 - also high for this year.

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