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South Korea Stock Market May Run Out Of Steam On Friday

The South Korea stock market has climbed higher in three straight sessions, collecting more than 80 points or 3.7 percent along the way. The KOSPI sits just above the 2,235-point plateau although investors may lock in gains on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is soft ahead of key U.S. employment data, which will affect the outlook for interest rates and the likelihood of recession. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses are tipped to open in similar fashion.

The KOSPI finished sharply higher on Thursday following gains from the technology stocks, steel makers and automobile producers, while the financials were soft.

For the day, the index advanced 22.64 points or 1.02 percent to finish at 2,237.86 after trading between 2,223.36 and 2,250.87. Volume was 631.62 million shares worth 6.67 trillion won. There were 776 gainers and 118 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial shed 0.57 percent, while KB Financial retreated 1.51 percent, Hana Financial tanked 2.35 percent, Samsung Electronics added 0.54 percent, Samsung SDI spiked 2.81 percent, LG Electronics rallied 1.77 percent, SK Hynix rose 0.11 percent, Naver jumped 1.93 percent, LG Chem surged 4.11 percent, Lotte Chemical fell 0.33 percent, S-Oil dropped 0.82 percent, SK Innovation tumbled 2.24 percent, POSCO gathered 0.45 percent, SK Telecom sank 0.79 percent, Hyundai Mobis declined 0.74 percent, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors both gained 0.56 percent and KEPCO was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is negative as the major averages opened slightly higher but quickly turned well into the red and remained that way for the rest of the session.

The Dow dropped 346.93 points or 1.15 percent to finish at 29,926.94, while the NASDAQ sank 75.33 points or 0.68 percent to end at 11,073.31 and the S&P 500 declined 38.76 points or 1.02 percent to close at 3,744.52.

The weakness on Wall Street came as traders continued to express concerns about the outlook for interest rates and the impact higher rates will have on the economy.

A continued rebound by treasury yields also weighed on the markets, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note extending the sharp upward move seen on Wednesday.

Traders were also looking ahead to the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report later today.

Oil prices climbed higher on Thursday, rising for a fourth straight session after OPEC announced on Wednesday that it would cut production by 2 million barrels per day from November, while a drop in U.S. crude inventories last week also contributed to the rise in oil prices. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November added $0.69 or 0.8 percent at $88.45 a barrel.

Closer to home, South Korea will release August numbers for current account later this morning; in July, the current account surplus was $1.09 billion.

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