RTTNews - Taking cues from Wall Street and mirroring the trend across the Asia-Pacific region, the Korean market is trading weak on Monday. Steel, telecom and energy stocks are trading lower, while automobile stocks are gaining ground. Airlines are exhibiting weakness and oil, bank and technology stocks exhibiting a mixed trend.

The benchmark index KOSPI, which opened modestly lower at 1,386, is currently down by 21.84 points or 1.57% at 1,370.

Steel stocks Hyundai Steel and POSCO are down by 2.85% and 2.7%, respectively. Among oil stocks, SK Holdings is up nearly a percent, while S-Oil is down sharply by 2.2%. Energy stock KEPCO is down by 3.2%.

In the technology space, Hynix Semiconductor is up 1.5%. LG Display LCD is trading lower by 2% and LG Electronics is down nearly a percent. Heavyweight stock Samsung Electronics is trading modestly lower.

Among the stocks in the automobile space, Kia Motors is trading 4.4% up. Hyundai Motor is up by 2% and Ssangyong Motor is gaining 1.7%.

In the banking space, Korea Exchange Bank is down 1.3% from its previous close. Shinhan Financial is down by 2.2% and KB Financial is lower by 0.5%. However, Woori Finance has bucked the trend and is trading 1.3% up.

Among shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries is down sharply by 3.4%, while Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding are trading higher by 0.6% and 0.7%, respectively. Among telecom stocks, KT Corp. is down by 1.6%, while SK Telecom is trading 0.6% down. Airliners, Korean Airlines and Asiana Airlines are trading lower by 2.2% and 1.6%, respectively.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore are trading sharply lower, with their benchmark indices losing between 1.3% and 3%. The New Zealand market is down with a modest loss. In Taiwan, the Taiwan Weighted index is down by around half a percent.

On Friday, most of the markets in the Asia-Pacific region had ended on a buoyant note as investors rushed in to pick up stocks on strong Wall Street cues.

The trend in major European markets was mixed. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index edged down 0.3 percent and the German DAX Index closed just below the unchanged line, the French CAC 40 Index closed up 0.4 percent.

Giving up early gains, Wall Street ended on a weak note Friday as investors pressed sales on concerns over a possible drop in energy demand. None too impressive economic data and auto major General Motors' plan to significantly reduce its dealers network also contributed to the weak close.

The major averages all finished the day firmly in negative territory after ending the previous session notably higher. The Dow closed down 62.68 points or 0.8 percent at 8,268.64, the Nasdaq closed down 9.07 points or 0.5 percent at 1,680.14 and the S&P 500 closed down 10.19 points or 1.1 percent at 882.88.

The economic calendar is relatively light this week, but traders are likely to keep an eye on reports on housing starts, leading economic indicators, and Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity. The Federal Reserve is also due to release the minutes of its latest meeting.

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