RTTNews - After a buoyant start and a subsequent bright spell in positive territory, the Korean market is seen drifting lower now with traders, cashing in on recent gains and taking some profits in bank, shipbuilding and a few technology stocks.

The benchmark index KOSPI, which had surged to 1,497 earlier in the day, dropped down to a low of 1,481 and is currently trading at 1,484, up 5.5 points over its previous close. On Monday, the KOSPI had surged 38.4 points or 2.7% to close at 1,478.5.

In the banking space, Korea Exchange Bank is down by around 1.8% and KB Financial is down with a modest loss. Both these stocks were trading firm earlier in the day. Woori Finance and Shinhan Financial are trading firm, up 1.2% and 1%, respectively over their previous closing prices.

Among technology stocks, LG Display LCD and LG Electronics are down with modest losses. Samsung Electronics is up with a small gain while Hynix Semiconductor is trading 1.2% up.

Shipbuilders Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding are up by 1% and 2.6% respectively. Hyundai Heavy Industries is down by 1.4% and bulk carrier STX Pan Ocean is trading lower by 1.4%.

Automobile stocks Ssangyong Motor and Hyundai Motors are up by 2.7% and 2.5%, respectively. Kia Motor is trading modestly higher.

In the oil space, SK Holding is up 3.5% and S-Oil is trading with a modest 0.8% gain. Energy major KEPCO is gaining 2.4%. Steel stocks POSCO and Hyundai Steel are up by 1.4% and 2.9%, respectively.

Airlines and telecom stocks are exhibiting a mixed trend.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia has given up most of its early gains on profit taking. Singapore, Shanghai, Taiwan and Hong Kong are trading flat. Indonesia, Japan and New Zealand are trading with sharp gains. Stock markets across the region had closed on the upside on Monday, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index surging up by 3.7%, while South Korea's benchmark KOSPI Index posted a gain of 2.7%.

Boosted by encouraging corporate earnings and reassuring news from CIT Group, which secured US$3 billion in financing from some of its largest bondholders, Wall Street ended on a firm note on Monday.

On the economic front, the Conference Board released a report showing that its index of leading economic indicators increased by more than expected in June, although both the coincident index and lagging index continued to decline.

The Dow moved up by 104.21 points or 1.2% to 8,848, the Nasdaq surged 22.68 points or 1.2% to 1,909 and the S&P 500 ended up 10.74 points or 1.1% at 951.

Major European markets closed notably higher, with the German DAX index and the French CAC 40 index finishing up by 1% and 1.6% respectively. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 posted a gain of 1.3%.

Continuing its surge for a fourth straight day amid hopes of a global economic revival, crude oil finished at US$63.98 a barrel on Monday, up 42 cents over Friday's close. Prices had earlier reached a thirteen-day high of US$64.90.

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