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South Korea Stock Market Overdue For Consolidation

The South Korea stock market has moved higher in nine straight sessions, gathering almost 190 points or 8.2 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,435-point plateau although investors may finally cash in on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests mild consolidation on concerns over coronavirus stimulus and falling oil prices. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were mixed and the Asian markets also figure to open in the red.

The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Thursday following gains from the financials were capped by weakness from the technology stocks and oil and chemical companies.

For the day, the index added 5.18 points or 0.21 percent to finish at 2,437.53 after trading between 2,412.49 and 2,458.17. Volume was 892 million shares worth 18 trillion won. There were 481 gainers and 359 decliners.

Among the actives, KB Financial spiked 2.85 percent, while Hana Financial collected 0.16 percent, Samsung Electronics shed 0.51 percent, LG Electronics sank 1.60 percent, SK Hynix fell 0.37 percent, LG Display advanced 0.76 percent, LG Chem lost 0.54 percent, Lotte Chemical gained 0.79 percent, S-Oil dropped 1.09 percent, SK Innovation fell 0.27 percent, POSCO skidded 1.20 percent, SK Telecom rose 0.21 percent, KEPCO soared 4.11 percent, Hyundai Motors skidded 1.16 percent, Kia Motors dropped 0.77 percent and Shinhan Financial was unchanged.

Wall Street offers little clarity as stocks were lackluster on Thursday, lingering near the unchanged line before ending mixed.

The Dow shed 80.12 points or 0.29 percent to finish at 27,896.72, while the NASDAQ added 30.26 points or 0.27 percent to end at 11,042.50 and the S&P 500 fell 6.92 points or 0.20 percent to close at 3,373.43.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders kept an eye on developments in Washington, where Democrats and White House officials remain at an impasse over a coronavirus relief bill.

The ongoing stalemate over a new stimulus bill has raised concerns the economic recovery implied by recent data could stall.

In economic news, the Labor Department said first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits declined by more than expected last week.

Oil prices were down on Thursday after the International Energy Agency cut its forecast for global oil demand for 2020 to 91.9 million barrels per day. West Texas Intermediate crude futures dipped $0.28 or 0.66 percent at $42.27, after having jumped 2.6 percent on Wednesday.

Closer to home, the Bank of Korea said this morning that export prices were down 5.8 percent on year in July, following the upwardly revised 5.7 percent drop in June (originally -6.0 percent). Import prices tumbled an annual 9.0 percent after sinking 7.4 percent in the previous month.

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