RTTNews - After opening higher and trading firm for around a couple of hours, the South Korean stock market briefly drifted into negative territory on Tuesday as investors took some profits in a few front line stocks. However, the market has edged up into positive terrain once again on buying at lower levels.

The benchmark index KOSPI, which opened sharply higher at 1,400.53 this morning, edged up to 1,402 before plunging to 1,377.60 on selling pressure. The index is currently trading at 1,385, up 6.9 points or 0.5% over its previous close.

On Monday, the KOSPI had ended 50.5 points or 3.53% down at 1,378.12, recording its biggest drop in percentage terms in four months.

Bank and technology stocks are mostly trading higher. Key bank stocks Korea Exchange Bank, Woori Finance, Shinhan Financial and KB Financial Group are up by 1%-3%.

Technology stock Hynix Semiconductor is up by about 3%, Samsung Electronics is trading up 2% and LG Electronics is up 1.2%. However, LG Display LCD is down in negative territory with a modest loss.

Steel stocks Hyundai Steel and POSCO are moving up by 2% and 3.3% respectively. Among oil stocks, SK Holding is down by about a percent while S-Oil is up with a modest gain. Energy stock KEPCO is trading nearly a percent up.

In the automobile space, Ssangyong Motors is trading higher by 2.2%, while Kia Motor and Hyundai Motor are trading weak. Among airliners, Korea Airlines and Asiana Airlines are exhibiting weakness. Telecom stocks are also seen trading lower.

Shipbuilding stocks, which closed sharply lower in the previous session, are edging higher today. Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding are up by 0.6%-1%. Bulk carrier STX Pan Ocean is also trading higher.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong are trading sharply higher. The key indices of these markets are currently up by 2%-2.3%. The Straits Times index of Singapore is up 1.35% and Shanghai's Shanghai Composite Average is trading 1.25% up. Markets in Indonesia, Taiwan and New Zealand are also trading firm.

Amid positive analyst comments on the financial sector, Wall Street surged higher on Monday with bank stocks leading the way. The major averages saw some further upside going into the close, ending the session at their best levels of the day. The Dow closed up by 185.16 points or 2.3% at 8,331.68, the Nasdaq moved up by 37.18 points or 2.1% percent to 1,793.21 and the S&P 500 rose by 21.92 points or 2.5% to 901.05.

Major European markets closed firmly on the upside, with the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index finishing up by 2.9 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index also rose, posting a gain of 1.7 percent.

Crude oil prices drifted lower on Monday on concerns that a gloomy economic outlook could curb energy demand. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light crude for August delivery slipped 20 cents from Friday's market close to end at US$59.69 a barrel.

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