RTTNews - Tracking cues from Wall Street where stocks had moved up fairly sharply overnight on rising optimism about an economic revival, the Korean market opened on a bright note this morning and is currently trading firm with frontline stocks across various sectors posting sharp gains.

The benchmark Korean index KOSPI is up by 14.5 points or 0.93% at 1,580The benchmark had ended

Among automobile stocks, Kia Motor and Hyundai Motor are up by 3.7% and 2.4%,respectively, while Ssangyong Motor is up by 15% again.

In the technology space, LG Display LCD is gaining 3.7%, LG Electronics is up by 1.8% and heavyweight Samsung Electronics is up by a modest 0.8%. Hynix Semiconductor, however, is down in negative territory with a sharp 2.1% loss.

Bank stocks, Korea Exchange Bank and Woori Finance are trading higher by 1.3% and 1.8%, espectively. Shinhan Financial is up by over 3%,while KB Financial is trading modestly higher.

Oil and energy stocks are exhibiting weakness. Telecom and steel stocks are trading mixed. Among airliners, Korea Airlines is up by 2.3%,while Asiana Airlines is trading with a modest gain of 0.8%.

In the shipping space, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding are trading modestly higher while bulk carrier STX Pan Ocean is up by as much as 4.5%.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan are trading sharply higher. Shanghai is up modestly, while the Japanese market was up notably at the end of the morning session. Stock markets across the region had finished markedly lower on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, shrugging off a report that showed U.S. trade deficit widened in June, traders stayed bullish on Wednesday after the Federal Open Market Committee announced that it was maintaining the target range for its benchmark federal funds rate at zero to 0.25% and repeated its belief that low rates will persist for what it calls an extended period. The central bank added that economic activity is leveling out.

The central bank also said it will gradually slow the pace of treasury purchases and expects that the full amount of US$300 billion will be purchased by the end of October.

Going into the meeting, the Fed was universally expected to leave rates unchanged, but there was some speculation that the central bank could announce the end of its program to buy treasury bonds, a move it had undertaken to further stimulate the economy.

The Dow jumped by 120.16 points or 1.3% to 9,362, the Nasdaq moved up by 28.99 points or 1.5% to 1,999and the S&P 500 surged 11.46 points or 1.2% to 1,006.

Major European markets closed considerably higher, with the French CAC 40 index and the German DAX index rising by 1.5% and 1.2%, respectively, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index posted a gain of 1%.

Oil prices closed higher, lifted by a Wall Street rally as the market shrugged off a larger-than-expected jump in US crude inventories that fueled worries about weak demand. Light sweet crude for September delivery, settled at US$70.16 a barrel, up 71 cents from Tuesday's close.

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