RTTNews - Despite a fairly strong start, the Korean market drifted into the red in late morning trade on Tuesday with several front line stocks facing stiff resistance at higher levels. However, with investors picking up stocks at lower levels, the market is back in positive territory once again.

The benchmark index KOSPI, which had moved on to 1,440 in early trading today, dropped down to 1,427 in late morning trade and is currently up with a modest gain of 3.20 points at 1,432.13.

On Monday, defying weak global cues and growth concerns, the KOSPI had ended in positive territory at 1,429 with a gain of 8.90 points or 0.63%.

Technology stocks are trading firm once again. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics, which rose sharply in the previous session on strong results, is up by around 1.6%. LG Electronics and Hynix Semiconductor are trading higher by 3%. However, LG Display LCD is down with a small loss.

In the automobile space, Ssangyong Motor is trading 1.5% down. Kia Motor is down by 0.7% while Hyundai Motors is trading higher by 0.6%.

Among bank stocks, Korea Exchange Bank is up nearly 4%. Woori Finance is trading 0.5% up while Shinhan Group and KB Financial are down in negative territory with modest losses.

Airlines are trading mixed. While Korean Airlines is down in the red with a 0.6% loss, Asiana Airlines is trading in positive territory with a modest gain of 0.4%. Telecom stocks KT Corp and SK Telecom are exhibiting weakness.

Steel giants Hyundai Steel and POSCO are down by 1.2% and 2.2%, respectively. Among oil stocks, SK Holdings is trading flat, while S-Oil is up marginally. Energy stock KEPCO is trading nearly 2% down from its previous close.

Shipbuilders Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding are down by 1.2% - 1.6%. Bulk carrier STX Pan Ocean is down with a loss of 3%.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Shanghai and Japan are trading lower. Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan markets are up in positive territory. Stock markets in the region had ended Monday's session mostly lower.

On Wall Street, stocks rallied after trading in the red for most of the session on Monday. Traders shrugged off a report from the Institute for Supply Management, which showed that activity in the service sector contracted for the ninth consecutive month in June, although at a slower pace than economists had been expecting.

The Dow closed up by 44.13 points or 0.5% at 8,325 and the S&P 500 rose by 2.30 or 0.3% to 899. However, the tech-heavy Nasdaq finished down by 9.12 points or 0.5% at 1,787.

Major European markets also saw notable weakness on the day, with the German DAX Index and French CAC 40 Index both finishing down 1.2%. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index also fell, posting a loss of 1% for the day.

Crude oil fell sharply to its lowest levels in nearly two weeks in the New York Mercantile Exchange on concerns over the slow pace of global economic recovery following weak labor data from the U.S. Light sweet crude for August delivery lost US$2.68 to close at US$64.05 a barrel as trade resumed after a three-day holiday weekend in the United States.

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