RTTNews - The Korean market is trading firm on Friday, with investors picking up stocks amid growing optimism about a global economic revival. Stocks from banking, technology, steel and oil sectors are surging higher on frenzied buying.

The Korean benchmark index KOSPI opened with a strong positive gap at 1,582 and is currently trading at 1,591, up 26.4 points or 1.7% over its previous close. The index, which rose to 1,595, a new 52-week high this morning, had ended 0.71 points or 0.01% down at 1,565 on Thursday.

Among technology stocks, heavyweight Samsung Electronics is up by 3.6% and LG Display LCD is gaining nearly 3%, while Hynix Semiconductor and LG Electronics are trading higher by 1.4% and 1.8%, respectively.

Bank stocks are up sharply today. Korea Exchange Bank, Woori Finance and KB Financial are up by 3% - 3.5%, while Shinhan Financial is gaining as much as 4.4%.

Oil stock SK Holdings is up by 3.6%. S-Oil is trading 1.1% up and energy stock KEPCO is up by about 2.3%. Steel stocks Hyundai Steel and POSCO are up by 1.2% and 2.6%, respectively.

In the automobile space, Kia Motor is trading 1.2% up and Ssangyong Motor is up by 15% again. However, Hyundai Motor is down in negative territory with a modest loss.

Among shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding are up by 1.3% - 1.8%. STX Pan Ocean is trading 0.8% down from its previous close. Telecom and airlines stocks are exhibiting a mixed trend.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Japan and Taiwan are trading sharply higher. New Zealand and Singapore are also trading firm. Shanghai and Indonesia are exhibiting weakness while the Hong Kong market is currently trading flat. Stock markets across the region had closed higher on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks managed to post modest gains overnight despite largely disappointing retail sales and jobs reports contributing to some uncertainty in the markets. Stocks saw some upside following the results of the Treasury Department's US$15 billion sale of thirty-year bonds.

The Dow finished up by 36.58 points or 0.4% at 9,398, the Nasdaq moved up by 10.63 points or 0.5% to 2,009 and the S&P 500 edged up by 6.92 points or 0.7% to 1,013.

Major European markets also closed on the upside, with the German DAX index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index posting gains of 1% and 0.8% respectively, while the French CAC 40 index ended up by 0.5%.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com