RTTNews - After an early surge into positive territory, the Korean market slipped into the red on Monday due to selling in bank, automobile and steel stocks. However, with technology and oil stocks finding good support, the market is edging higher once again.

With no triggers around to guide them, investors are seen treading a highly cautious path today. Buying remains extremely stock specific and volume of business has also not up picked up any significantly as yet.

The benchmark index KOSPI, which drifted down to 1,380 after surging to 1,395 earlier, is currently trading at 1,388, up 4.66 points over its previous close. On Friday, the KOSPI had ended at 1,383, gaining 7.58 points, or 0.55%.

Technology stocks are trading firm. Hynix Semiconductor and LG Display LCD are up by 2.7% and 2.2% respectively. Samsung Electronics is trading 1.3% up while LG Electronics, another key player in the technology space, is up by around 0.5%.

Automobile and steel strocks are trading mostly lower. Kia Motors is down by 1.5% and Ssangyong Motor is trading lower by nearly 4%. Hyundai Motor is up with a modest gain. Steel stocks Hyundai Steel and POSCO are down by 1% and 0.7% respectively.

Bank stocks are exhibiting a mixed trend. Korea Exchange Bank is down by 2.7% and Shinhan Financial is trading lower by 0.8%. KB Financial is up by over 2.5% while Woori Finance is trading 0.5% up.

In the oil space, S-Oil is up 1.6% and SK Holdings is gaining 0.5%. Energy stock KEPCO is trading modestly lower. Telecom and airlines stocks are trading mixed.

Among shipbuilders, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding are trading higher while Hyundai Heavy Industries is down in the red. Shares of bulk carrier STX Pan Ocean are also trading weak.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong is trading sharply higher. Australia, Japan and Taiwan are up modestly, while Shanghai, Indonesia, New Zealand and Singapore are up with notable gains.

On Friday, stocks ended on a mixed note on Wall Street despite a fairly strong start. Trading was lackluster for most of the session as traders stayed away amid a lull in economic data. The Dow closed down 15.87 points at 8,539.73, the Nasdaq closed up 19.75 points at 1,827.47 and the S&P 500 closed up 2.83 points at 921.20.

Stock markets across the Asia Pacific region had ended Friday's session with solid gains. Major European markets also finished the day higher. The French CAC 40 Index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index closed up 0.9 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, while the German DAX Index closed just above the unchanged mark.

After posting modest gains in the previous two sessions, crude oil prices had closed below US$70 on Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange amid concerns that supplies will outweigh demand. Light sweet crude for July delivery settled at US$69.55 per barrel, down US$1.82, its lowest close since June 8.

Prices had reached as high as US$72.30 Friday amid early worries over violence in Nigeria. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta claimed it has blown up an Agip pipeline that delivers to a Brass export terminal. Two days earlier, the group attacked a Royal Dutch Shell pipeline.

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