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Losing Streak May Continue For South Korea Bourse

The South Korea stock market has tracked lower in back-to-back sessions, giving away more than 30 points or 1.4 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,190-point plateau and it may take further damage again on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on mixed earnings news and sliding crude oil prices. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished modestly lower on Thursday as losses from the automobile and oil companies were mitigated by support from the financials and a mixed picture from the technology shares.

For the day, the index lost 10.53 points or 0.48 percent to finish at 2,190.50 after trading between 2,187.44 and 2,200.89. Volume was 427 million shares worth 5.4 trillion won. There were 579 decliners and 247 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 0.91 percent, while KB Financial advanced 0.88 percent, Hana Financial climbed 0.95 percent, POSCO perked 0.77 percent, S-Oil retreated 2.40 percent, SK Innovation fell 2.58 percent, Samsung Electronics shed 0.22 percent, LG Electronics surged 4.48 percent, LG Display skidded 1.51 percent, SK Hynix spiked 2.178 percent, LG Chem perked 0.97 percent, SK Telecom gathered 0.81 percent, KEPCO sank 1.07 percent, Hyundai Motor lost 0.36 percent and Kia Motors tumbled 3.30 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is inconclusive as stocks saw considerable volatility on Thursday, showing wild swings before ending the session on opposite sides of the unchanged line.

The Dow shed 134.97 points or 0.51 percent to 26,462.08, while the NASDAQ added 16.67 points or 0.21 percent to 8,118.68 and the S&P 500 fell 1.08 points or 0.04 percent to 2,926.17.

A steep drop by shares of 3M (MMM) weighed on the Dow after the company reported weaker than expected first quarter results and lowered its full-year guidance. On the other hand, shares of Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT) boosted the tech-heavy NASDAQ after beating the street.

In economic news, the Commerce Department said durable goods orders jumped more than expected in March, reflecting a significant rebound in orders for transportation equipment. Also, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims rebounded more than expected in the week ended April 20.

Crude oil futures ended lower Thursday, extending losses after the Energy Information Administration reported an increase in crude inventory in the U.S. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended down $0.68 or 1 percent at $65.21 a barrel.

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