RTTNews - After a positive start and a subsequent fall, the Korean market is edging higher with investors picking up stocks amid hopes of a global economic recovery. However, due to strong resistance at higher levels, the market is seen struggling to make any significant progress.

The overnight surge on Wall Street on the back of some fairly encouraging economic reports and the firm trend exhibited by most of the markets in the Asia-Pacific region are aiding sentiment to an extent.

The Korean benchmark KOSPI, which fell to 1,407 after an initial surge to 1,419, is currently trading at 1,411, down slightly from its previous close of 1,412.

Bank stocks are trading firm, extending their overnight gains. Korea Exchange Bank, Woori Finance and Shinhan Financial Group are trading 1% - 1.5% higher. However, KB Financial Group is down marginally after trading firm earlier in the day.

Among technology stocks, Hynix Semiconductor is up by 2.2%. LG Display LCD is gaining 1.3%, LG Electronics is up nearly a percent and Samsung Electronics is trading with a modest gain.

In the automobile space, Kia Motor is up by over 3%. Ssangyong Motor and Hyundai Motors are trading lower with modest losses. Energy stocks are exhibiting some weakness. Steel stocks Hyundai Steel and KEPCO are trading in positive territory.

Telecom and airline stocks are trading mixed, while shipbuilders are trading lower. Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding are down by 0.7% - 1%, while bulk carrier STX Pan Ocean is down by over 2%.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taiwan are up sharply, with their key indices Hang Seng, Shanghai Composite and Taiwan Weighted Average gaining 1.25% - 1.5%. The Australian benchmark S&P/ASX 200 is up 0.7%. The Indonesian index Jakarta Composite is up 0.85%. The Japanese index Nikkei was up marginally at the end of the morning session.

Wall Street ended with modest gains Wednesday amid low volumes. While the data on manufacturing activity and pending home sales fell in line with expectations and resulted in an early surge, weak employment and construction spending data hurt sentiment to an extent and wiped off some early gains.

The Dow closed up by 57.06 points at 8,504, the Nasdaq rose by 10.68 points to 1,846, and the S&P 500 advanced by 4.01 points to 923.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region had ended Wednesday's session on a mixed note. Trading in Hong Kong was closed for the day.

Major European markets closed notably higher, with the German DAX Index and French CAC 40 Index rising by 2% and 2.4%, respectively. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index also moved higher, advancing by 2.2%.

Oil prices fell after bouncing above US$71 following a mixed report on U.S petroleum inventories. Crude oil reserves fell 3.7 million barrels in the week ending June 26, recording the fourth weekly drop in a row. On Wednesday, light sweet crude for August delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange ended at US$69.31 a barrel, down US$0.58.

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