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More Pain Predicted For South Korea Stock Market

The South Korea stock market has finished lower in back-to-back sessions, tumbling almost 50 points or 2.4 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,160-point plateau and it may take further damage on Monday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft on renewed concerns about the coronavirus and its repercussions. The European and U.S. markets were down on Friday and the Asian markets are now expected to open in similar fashion.

The KOSPI finished sharply lower on Friday following losses from the financial shares and technology stocks.

For the day, the index retreated 32.66 points or 1.49 percent to finish at 2,162.84 after trading between 2,160.28 and 2,184.43. Volume was 619 million shares worth 6.7 trillion won. There were 761 decliners and 109 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial sank 1.52 percent, while KB Financial plunged 2.49 percent, Samsung Electronics skidded 1.33 percent, LG Electronics shed 1.88 percent, LG Chem retreated 2.86 percent, SK Hynix dropped 0.96 percent, POSCO lost 1.86 percent, SK Telecom declined 1.13 percent, KEPCO added 0.38 percent, Hyundai Motors tumbled 1.54 percent, Kia Motors slipped 1.23 percent and Hana Financial was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as stocks opened firmly in the red on Friday and remained there throughout the sessions, extending recent losses.

The Dow shed 227.57 points or 0.78 percent to end at 28,992.41, the NASDAQ lost 174.38 points or 1.79 percent to 9,576.59 and the S&P 500 fell 35.48 points or 1.05 percent to 3,337.75. For the week, the Dow shed 1.4 percent, the NASDAQ fell 1.6 percent and the S&P slumped 1.3 percent.

The sell-off on Wall Street came as traders tracked the latest coronavirus news, with Chinese officials reporting 1,109 new confirmed cases of the illness, up sharply from 349 cases the previous day.

In economic news, the National Association of Realtors reported a pullback in existing home sales in January - although home sales in January were up by 9.6 percent on an annual basis.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Friday on reports suggesting a rift in the crude-production alliance between Saudi Arabia and Russia. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended down $0.50 or 0.9 percent at $53.38 a barrel.

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