RTTNews - After opening sharply lower, the Korean market has regained some lost ground on Friday with traders indulging in a bit of bargain hunting in technology and automobile stocks.

Following a weak close on Wall Street where stock prices had tumbled on Thursday on weak employment data, the Korean market got off to a a negative start this morning with its benchmark KOSPI index plunging to 1,390. However, the index has now recovered to 1,407, down by just 4 points from its previous close.

The KOSPI had ended Thursday's session at 1,412, recording a very small loss.

Technology stocks Hynix Semiconductor and LG Display LCD are trading higher by 1.7% and 2.7%, respectively. LG Electronics is up 0.5%, while Samsung Electronics is trading weak with a 0.5% loss.

Automobile stock Kia Motor is edging up modestly. Ssangyong Motors and Hyundai Motors are off their lows but are still seen trailing their previous closing levels by 1.8% and 1%, respectively.

Oil and energy stocks are trading weak. Steel majors Hyundai Steel and POSCO are down by over 1%. Airliners Korea Airlines and Asiana Airlines are also exhibiting weakness. Shipbuilders are exhibiting a mixed trend.

In the banking space, Korea Exchange Bank, Woori Finance and KB Financial Group are trading lower by 1.3% - 1.8%. Bucking the trend, Shinhan Financial is edging up modestly.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore are trading sharply lower, while Shanghai and New Zealand are down with modest losses.

Wall Street ended with sharp losses on Thursday, as disappointing employment data triggered a fairly heavy sell-off. The sharp decline in non-farm payroll employment in June pushed up unemployment rate to 9.5%, its highest level since August 1983.

The mood had turned so bearish following the release from the Labor department that a better-than-expected report card on the manufactured goods orders front failed to alter the fortunes of the market during the session.

The Dow closed down by 223.32 points or 2.6 percent at 8,281, the Nasdaq fell by 49.20 points or 2.7 percent to 1,796, and the S&P 500 closed down 26.91 points or 2.9 percent at 896.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region had ended Thursday's session mostly lower. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index closed down by 0.6 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped by 1.1 percent.

Major European markets also closed firmly in the red, with the German DAX Index and French CAC 40 Index finishing down by 3.8 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index also fell, posting a loss of 2.5 percent on the day.

Oil dropped to its lowest level in nearly a month on Thursday as the weak employment data sparked demand concerns. Crude finished in negative territory for a third straight session, losing US$2.58 to settle at US$66.73.

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