RTTNews - The Korean market is up sharply on Monday with hopes of a rapid economic recovery rising further on the back of a recent report that revealed the country's GDP reading rose the fastest in nearly six years in the April - June 2009 quarter.

The Korean benchmark index KOSPI, which opened over 8 points up at 1,511 and rose to 1,523, is currently trading at 1,521.4, up 18.9 points or 1.25% over its previous close. The KOSPI had ended up 6.10 points or 0.4% at 1,502.59 on Friday.

Technology and bank stocks are the top gainers in the Korean market today. Frontline technology stocks Hynix Semiconductor, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are trading stronger by 5.5%, 2% and 3.2%, respectively. LG Display LCD, remaining a bit subdued, is up by 0.6%.

Among bank stocks, KB Financial is up by 3.6%, Shinhan Financial is trading 2.7% up, Korea Exchange Bank is up by 1.4% and Woori Finance is trading with a gain of 1.2%.

Among automobile stocks, Kia Motor and Hyundai Motor are up by 2% and 2.8%, respectively while Ssangyong Motor is trading in negative territory with a 0.8% loss.

Oil stocks are trading mixed. While SK Holdings is up by 1%, S-Oil is down by 0.5%. Energy stock KEPCO is gaining about 3%. Among steel stocks, Hyundai Steel is trading up 1.2%, while POSCO is up by over 1%.

In the shipbuilding space, Hyundai Heavy Industries is trading in the red with a 1.6% loss, while Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding are trading modestly higher. STX Pan Ocean is up by about 0.5%.

Telecom stocks are trading modestly higher. Among airliners, Korea Airlines is trading flat, while Asiana Airline is trading with a 2.8% gain.

Most of the markets in the Asia-Pacific region are trading sharply higher today. Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore are up sharply with their benchmark indices gaining between 1.1% and 1.75%. The key indices of Shanghai, Indonesia and Taiwan are also up with notable gains. Stock markets across the region had finished on the upside on Friday.

Wall Street rebounded from lower levels and ended around the unchanged the line on Friday, shrugging off some weak quarterly numbers and a mixed report from Reuters and the University of Michigan, which showed that their reading on consumer sentiment for the month of July was upwardly revised from the preliminary reading but still came in well below the previous month.

The Nasdaq ended in the red for the first time in nearly two weeks as it slipped by 7.64 points or 0.4% to 1,966, the Dow climbed 23.95 points or 0.3% to 9,093 and the S&P 500 rose by 2.97 points or 0.3% to 979.

Major European markets closed on a mixed note, with the German DAX index and the French CAC 40 index finishing down by 0.4% and 0.2% respectively. The FTSE 100 index of the U.K. edged up by 0.4%.

Oil finished a choppy session higher on Friday as traders continued to show optimism the global economy is on the mend, which would improve energy demand. Light sweet crude for September delivery moved up to US$68.05 per barrel, up 89 cents for the session. Prices touched as low as US$66.46, but later touched as high as US$68.18.

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