RTTNews - The winning streak has hit six sessions for the South Korean stock market, which has collected more than 110 points or 8 percent on its way to a fresh 10-month closing high. The KOSPI is closing on resistance at 1,500 points, and investors are optimistic that the market could crack that barrier at the opening of trade on Wednesday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets remains positive, although many of the regional bourses are riding lengthy winning streaks and may see some more of the profit taking that crept into trade towards the end of the previous session. Biotechnology, chemical and pharmaceutical stocks are tipped higher, while the financials could ease under pressure. The European and U.S. markets finished higher again, and the Asian markets are expected to follow suit.
The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Tuesday, although the gains were dented in the afternoon by profit taking from the current streak. Automobile producers led the gainers, while other industrial issues also finished higher.
For the day, the index was up 10.48 points or 0.7 percent to close at 1488.99 after trading between 1,480.64 and 1,496.87. Volume was 508 million shares worth 6.6 trillion won. There were 443 gainers and 342 decliners, with 93 stocks finishing unchanged.
Among the gainers, Samsung Electronics added 0.3 percent, while Hynix Semiconductor was up 2.7 percent, Hyundai Motor rose 3.6 percent, Kia Motors gained 2.3 percent, POSCO added 1.4 percent, Doosan Infracore surged 8.7 percent and STX Engine climbed 4.6 percent. Finishing lower, Samsung Securities fell 0.5 percent and Daewoo Securities dropped 0.9 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is cautiously optimistic once again as a spike in buying interest in the afternoon helped stocks to finish modestly higher on Tuesday after showing a lack of direction for much of the day. The major averages all finished in positive territory by solid margins, building on their recent gains.
Stocks started strong following a slew of largely promising earnings, with five Dow components reporting their quarterly results. Despite beating Wall Street estimates, Caterpillar (CAT), Coca-Cola (KO), DuPont (DD), Merck (MRK) and United Technologies (UTX) saw mixed reaction.
In other news, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before the House Financial Services Committee today, stating that the U.S. economy is showing signs of stabilization and that the stimulus authorities pumped into the global economy late last year probably helped to avoid a collapse of the financial system.
Bernanke also said that the Fed is prepared to remove its stimulus when the time is appropriate in order to avoid a spike in inflation. However, he reiterated that the economy is still in a fragile state, with unemployment high and consumer spending shaky.
The Fed chief is scheduled to delivery his second day of testimony before the Senate Banking Committee at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama continued to push for the passage of his healthcare plan this afternoon, looking to gather additional support for the much-discussed bill that aims to provide universal healthcare.
The major averages moved to the upside heading into the close, finishing near their best levels of the day. The Dow advanced 67.79 points or 0.8 percent to 8,915.94, the NASDAQ climbed 6.91 points or 0.4 percent to 1,916.20 and the S&P 500 rose 3.45 points or 0.4 percent to 954.58.
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