RTTNews - After a weak start, the Korean market bounced back sharply and is currently trading in positive territory with modest gains with investors going in for some bargain hunting after previous session's setback.

Though the mood remains extremely cautious following a few disappointing economic reports from U.S., Japan and China since late last week, traders are seen indulging in bargain hunting and a bit of short-covering today.

The Korean benchmark index KOSPI, which fell to 1,533 in early trading this morning but rallied to 1,560.7 subsequently, is currently up with a gain of 13 points or 0.84% at 1,561. On Monday, the index had plunged 44.35 points or 2.8% to 1,547.

Technology stocks Hynix Semiconductor and Samsung Electronics are up by around 2% over their previous closing prices. LG Display LCD is trading modestly higher, while LG Electronics is down with a 0.3% loss.

Among automobile stocks, Hyundai Motor is trading firm with a 2% gain. Ssangyong Motor is down by 12%, while Kia Motor is trading modestly lower.

In the banking space, Korea Exchange Bank is up by 1%. Woori Finance, Shinhan Financial and KB Financial are trading in the red with modest losses.

Among steel stocks, Hyundai Steel is down by 0.5%, while POSCO is trading with a gain of 0.5%. Oil Stock SK Holdings is trading lower by 0.9%. S-Oil is up by a modest 0.7% and KEPCO is gaining about 2%.

Among shipping industry stocks, Samsung Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding and STX Pan Ocean are exhibiting weakness, while Hyundai Heavy Industries is trading up by 1%. Airliners are trading weak. Telecom stocks SK Telecom and KT Corp. are up by 1.2% and 1%, respectively.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia has wiped off earlier losses and is currently trading flat. Indonesia, Taiwan and New Zealand are trading weak. Shanghai and Hong Kong, which suffered heavy losses on Monday, are trading modestly higher. Japan and Singapore are also up in positive territory with modest gains. Stock markets across the region had finished considerably lower on Monday.

U.S. stocks saw a sharp pullback on Monday, as last week's disappointing data on the health of the consumer sparked a broad-based sell-off in equities. A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that showed conditions for New York manufacturers improved for the first time in well over a year in the month of August, and a release from the National Association of Home Builders that showed a rise in homebuilder confidence helped arrest the slide to an extent.

The Dow closed down by 186.06 points or 2% at 9,135, the Nasdaq drifted down by 54.68 points or 2.8% to 1,931 and the S&P 500 slipped by 24.36 points or 2.4% to 980.

Major European markets also closed notably lower, with the French CAC 40 index and the German DAX index falling by 2% and 2.1% respectively, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index slipped by 1.5%.

Crude oil finished lower again on Monday, as lower global equities raised concerns about energy demand. Oil was also hurt by a stronger U.S. dollar, although it ended the session off its lows of the day. Light sweet crude plunged to US$66.75 per barrel, down 76 cents on the session, extending the sharp drop seen on Friday. Prices fell as low as US$65.23 a barrel earlier in the session.

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