RTTNews - The South Korean stock market is trading firm on Tuesday with participants picking up bank, automobile and technology stocks on hopes of a global economic recovery.

After an initial fall to 1,583, the benchmark KOSPI index rallied to 1,607 and is currently trading at 1,604, up 12.15 points, or 0.77% over its previous close. The index had ended down by 16.09 points, or 1%, at 1,591.85 on Monday.

Bank stocks are trading firm. Korea Exchange Bank, Woori Finance, Shinhan Financial and KB Financial are currently up by 1%-2%. Among technology stocks, heavyweight Samsung Electronics is gaining about 1%, LG Electronics is trading higher by 1.4% and Hynix Semiconductor is up by a modest 0.7%. However, LG Display LCD is trading in negative territory with a 0.6% loss.

In the shipbuilding space, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding are up by 1.5% and 1.7% respectively. Samsung Heavy Industries is trading modestly higher. Bulk carrier STX Pan Ocean is up by 1.4%.

Automobile stocks Kia Motor and Hyundai Motor are up by 1.5% and 3.3% respectively. Ssangyong Motor is trading lower by about 3%. Shares in car parts maker Korea Beral gained over 11% in morning trading on expectations that billionaire investor Carl Icahn might make an unsolicited bid for the firm.

Among oil stocks, SK Holdings is trading lower by 1.4%, while S-Oil is gaining 1.8%. KEPCO is up by around 1.5%. Steel stocks are trading mixed. Telecommunications stocks are up modestly, while airline stocks are exhibiting weakness.

In economic news, South Korean manufacturing activity expanded for a sixth consecutive month in August, although the pace eased slightly from July, on growing new orders from both home and abroad, a survey showed on Tuesday. The HSBC/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) hit a seasonally adjusted 53.65 in August, down from 54.04 in July, but staying above the neutral point of 50 for a sixth consecutive month, Markit Economics Ltd said in a report.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Taiwan is trading sharply higher. Australia, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore are up with modest gains, while New Zealand is trading weak with its benchmark NZX 50 declining by about 1.2%. Stock markets across the region had closed mostly lower on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks were seen struggling on Monday following a massive sell-off in the Chinese market. Still, with a slew of economic reports due for release, selling pressure subsided to an extent as the session progressed.

The Dow ended lower by 47.92 points, or 0.5%, at 9,496.28, the Nasdaq closed down by 19.71 points, or 1%, at 2,009.06 and the S&P 500 drifted down by 8.31 points, or 0.8%, to 1,020.62.

Major European markets ended lower on Monday with the French CAC 40 index and the German DAX index slipping by 1.1% and 1% respectively. The U.K. market was closed for a bank holiday.

Crude oil plunged below US$70 on Monday as stocks around the world fell, renewing concerns for energy demand. With the drop, oil gave back a good portion of its monthly gains. Light sweet crude for October delivery dropped to US$69.96, down US$2.78 on the session. Prices fell to as low as US$69.13 earlier in the session.

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