RTTNews - The Korean market is trading firm on Friday with a strong close on Wall Street overnight and hopes of a global revival on the back of some better-than-expected earnings and economic reports keeping the mood bullish once again.

The benchmark index KOSPI, which opened modestly higher at 1,543 this morning, is currently up by around 18 points or 1.14% at 1,553. On Thursday, the KOSPI had ended 10.42 points or 0.68% up at 1,535 on optimism about earnings and recovery.

Among technology majors, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are up by 1.3% and 1.6%, respectively. LG Display LCD is trading 0.3% down, while Hynix Semiconductor is down with a sharp 3% loss.

In the banking space, Korea Exchange Bank is gaining about 4.5% and Shinhan Financial is trading with a 2.7% gain. Woori Finance is modestly higher, while KB Financial is down by 3%.

Among automobile stocks, Kia Motor and Hyundai Motor are exhibiting weakness, while Ssangyong Motor is up nearly 15%.

Oil stocks SK Holdings and S-Oil are trading flat. Energy giant KEPCO is down by 0.7%. Among steel stocks, Hyundai Steel and POSCO are trading higher by 3% and 2.4%, respectively.

In the shipbuilding space, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding are up with modest gains, while Samsung Hyundai Industries is exhibiting some weakness. Bulk carrier STX Pan Ocean is down by 0.4%.

Airliners Korea Airlines and Asiana Airlines are up by 5.7% and 3.5%, respectively. Telecom stocks SK Telecom and KT Corp are trading modestly higher.

Other markets in the Asia-Pacific region are also trading firm today. The benchmark indices of Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and Taiwan are currently up by 1% - 2%. New Zealand's NZX 50 is up nearly a percent while Singapore's Straits Times index and Shanghai's Shanghai Composite Average are trading up by 0.53% and 0.85% respectively. Stock markets across the region had finished largely on the upside on Thursday.

On Wall Street, fueled by stabilizing earnings and employment figures, stocks posted strong gains on Thursday. Despite some profit taking in the final hour, the major averages closed at their best levels of the year. The Dow finished up by 83.74 points or 0.9% at 9,155, the Nasdaq advanced by 16.54 points or 0.8% to 1,984 and the S&P 500 rose by 11.60 points or 1.2% to 987.

Major European markets closed notably higher, with the French CAC 40 index and the German DAX index finishing up by 1.7% and 2.1% respectively, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose by 1.9%.

Crude oil surged higher on Thursday as traders bet a recent plunge was overdone. The one-day gain was the largest since April. Light sweet crude for September delivery rallied to US$66.92 per barrel, up US$3.59 on the session. Prices touched as high as US$67.29, approaching the week's high crossing of US$68.99.

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