The South Korea stock market has alternated between positive and negative finishes through the last four trading days since the end of the two-day winning streak in which it had climbed almost 45 points or 1.5 percent. The KOSPI now sits just above the 3,085-point plateau and it figures to add to its winnings on Friday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat, with technology and oil stocks expected to lead the markets higher. The European and U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets are tipped to follow suit.
The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Thursday as gains from the technology stocks and automobile producers were capped by weakness from the financial sector.
For the day, the index advanced 25.98 points or 0.85 percent to finish at 3,087.40 after trading between 3,069.68 and 3,090.88. Volume was 910 million shares worth 13.8 trillion won. There were 420 decliners and 419 gainers.
Among the actives, Shinhan Financial tumbled 1.74 percent, while KB Financial tanked 2.14 percent, Hana Financial plunged 3.39 percent, Samsung Electronics jumped 1.84 percent, LG Electronics soared 6.00 percent, SK Hynix surged 6.04 percent, Naver gained 0.40 percent, LG Chem accelerated 1.74 percent, Lotte Chemical rose 0.17 percent, S-Oil dropped 1.11 percent, SK Innovation skyrocketed 10.27 percent, POSCO sank 0.47 percent, SK Telecom improved 0.73 percent, KEPCO climbed 1.51 percent, Hyundai Motor added 0.46 percent and Kia Motors advanced 0.72 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is broadly positive as stocks opened higher on Thursday and gathered steam as the day progressed, closing near daily highs.
The Dow climbed 171.66 points or 0.52 percent to finish at 33,153.21, while the NASDAQ spiked 233.23 points or 1.76 percent to end at 13,480.11 and the S&P 500 jumped 46.98 points or 1.18 percent to close at 4,019.87.
The rally by technology stocks in the NASDAQ reflected solid earnings news and a retreat by treasury yields, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note moving lower after ending the previous day at its highest closing level in a year.
Traders were also reacting to President Joe Biden’s speech regarding his $2 trillion infrastructure and economic recovery plan.
In economic news, the Institute for Supply Management said U.S. manufacturing activity accelerated more than expected in March. Also, the Labor Department said first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits rebounded from their lowest level in a year last week.
Crude oil prices moved sharply higher Thursday on news that OPEC has agreed to incremental increases in crude production for three months starting in May. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for May ended higher by $2.29 or 3.9 percent at $61.45 a barrel.
Closer to home, South Korea will release March figures for consumer prices later this morning. Inflation is tipped to ease 0.1 percent on month and rise 1.35 percent on year after gaining 0.5 percent on month and 1.1 percent on year in February.
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