RTTNews - The Korean market is trading firm on Monday with investors picking up stocks from technology, bank and automobile sectors on hopes the global economy will soon be back on the recovery path. The modest surge on Wall Street last Friday and the firm trend in other markets in the Asia-Pacific region are also contributing the positive undertone in the Korean market.

The Korean benchmark index KOSPI, which opened at 1,448 and moved on to 1,469, is currently up with a sharp gain of 25 points or 1.74% at 1,465.

On Friday, the KOSPI had ended modestly higher at 1,440, gaining 7.88 points or 0.55%, despite some profit taking in late afternoon trades.

In the technology space, LG Display LCD is trading 3.7% up, Hynix Semiconductor is up by 2.3% and heavyweight Samsung Electronics is gaining 2%. LG Electronics, trading relatively subdued this morning, is up by a modest 0.4%.

Among automobile stocks, Kia Motor and Hyundai Motors are up by 4.5% and 1.7%, respectively, while Ssangyong Motor is up by as much as 10%.

Among bank stocks, KB Financial is up by about 3% and Shinhan Financial is trading up 2% while Korea Exchange Bank and Woori Finance are trading higher by 1% and 1.3% respectively.

Oil stocks SK Holdings and S-Oil are up by around 1.5%. Energy stock KEPCO is trading nearly a percent up. In the steel space, Hyundai Steel is gaining over 2% while POSCO is trading with a gain of 1.8%.

In the shipbuilding space, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding are trading higher by 1.2% and 1.5%, respectively while Hyundai Heavy Industries is up by a modest 0.8%. Bulk carrier STX Pan Ocean is up nearly 3% over its previous close. Telecom and airlines stocks are exhibiting a mixed trend.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia and Hong Kong are trading firm with their benchmark indices gaining around 1.2% and 1%, respectively. Markets in Taiwan, New Zealand and Shanghai are also trading in positive territory. The Tokyo Stock Exchange is closed today on account of Ocean Day. The Indonesian market is closed for Isra Mi'raj.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region had closed higher on Friday, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng index climbing by 2.4% while Japan's benchmark Nikkei index posting a modest gain of 0.6%.

On Friday, Wall Street ended with modest gains after a highly choppy ride amid mixed reaction to earnings reports and housing data. The Dow and Nasdaq finished on the upside, gaining 32.12 points or 0.4% to 8,744 and 1.58 points or 0.1% to 1,887 respectively. The S&P 500 closed 0.36 points down at 940.

Traders looked to results from Google and IBM, which firmly beat Wall Street estimates, while financial stalwarts Bank of America and Citigroup also beat forecasts, but by more modest margins. General Electric also surpassed expectations.

There was not much of a reaction to the report from the U.S. Commerce Department which showed housing starts rose 3.6% to an annual rate of 582,000 units in June from a revised pace of 562,000 units in the previous month.

Major European markets closed on the upside, with the German DAX Index finishing higher by 0.4% and the French CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 both rising by 0.6%.

Continuing its upward movement for another day, crude oil finished at its best level in 11 days on Friday. Light sweet crude oil for August settlement rose US$1.54 to settle at US$63.56 per barrel. Prices hit as high as US$63.99 after earlier hitting as low as US$61.04.

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