South Korea Stock Market May Hand Back Wednesday's Gains

(RTTNews) – The South Korea stock market inched higher again on Wednesday, one day after ending the seven-day winning streak in which it had surged more than 115 points or 4.6 percent. The KOSPI now rests just above the 2,575-point plateau although it may tick lower again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets suggests little movement, with investors expected to wait and see what happens in terms of corporate earnings. The European and U.S. markets were mixed and little hanged and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.

The KOSPI finished slightly higher on Wednesday as gains from the financial shares and automobile producers were capped by weakness from the oil and chemical companies. The technology stocks were mixed.

For the day, the index rose 3.99 points or 0.16 percent to finish at 2,575.08. Volume was 933 million shares worth 12.4 trillion won. There were 596 gainers and 276 decliners.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 1.13 percent, while KB Financial rallied 2.17 percent, Hana Financial gained 0.48 percent, Samsung Electronics eased 0.15 percent, Samsung SDI skidded 1.04 percent, LG Electronics jumped 1.16 percent, SK Hynix added 0.68 percent, Naver sank 0.73 percent, LG Chem plummeted 4.24 percent, Lotte Chemical slid 0.34 percent, S-Oil lost 0.62 percent, SK Innovation dipped 0.27 percent, POSCO shed 0.60 percent, SK Telecom fell 0.41 percent, KEPCO improved 1.24 percent, Hyundai Mobis advanced 0.89 percent, Hyundai Motor climbed 1.15 percent and Kia Motors soared 3.26 percent.

The lead from Wall Street remains ambiguous as the major averages opened sharply lower on Wednesday but chipped away throughout the session to finish mixed and little changed.

The Dow shed 79.62 points or 0.23 percent to finish at 33,897.01, while the NASDAQ rose 3.82 points or 0.03 percent to close at 12,157.23 and the S&P 500 eased 0.35 points or 0.01 percent to end at 4,154.52.

The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders reacted to mixed earnings news as Netflix (NFLX) disappointed while Morgan Stanley (MS) and Travelers (TRV) beat the street.

Negative sentiment was generated by a jump in treasury yields, with the yield on the benchmark ten-year note reaching its highest level in nearly a month. The increase reflected concerns about global inflation after the U.K. said consumer prices increased more than expected in March.

On the U.S. economic front, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book report, noting U.S. economic activity was little changed in recent weeks, while the rate of price increases appeared to be slowing.

Crude oil prices slid on Wednesday on concerns that any further policy tightening by the Fed could hurt growth and significantly curb energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for June ended lower by $1.66 or 2 percent at $79.24 a barrel.