RTTNews - The Korean stock market is exhibiting some weakness on Tuesday with investors indulging in profit taking in a few frontline stocks after recent sharp rallies.

The benchmark index KOSPI, which edged up to 1,529 after initial weakness, has drifted down to 1,519 now, recording a loss of around 5 points or 0.33%. On Monday, the KOSPI had ended at 1,524 with a sharp gain of 21.46 points or 1.43%.

Technology stocks, which had a good run in recent sessions, are trading weak today. Hynix Semiconductor is down by 1.6% while Samsung Electronics and LG Display LCD are trading lower by 0.6% and 0.3%, respectively. However, LG Electronics is up in positive territory with a modest gain.

Among bank stocks, KB Financial and Shinhan Financial are trading stronger by 3.3% and 3%, respectively. Woori Finance is up by 1.2%, while Korea Exchange Bank is trading lower by nearly a percent.

In the automobile space, Kia Motor is down with a loss of 1.6%. Ssangyong Motors and Hyundai Motor are down with modest losses.

Shipbuilders Hyundai Heavy Industries, Samsung Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding are trading 0.3% - 1% up over their previous closing prices. Bulk carrier STX Pan Ocean is trading with a 4.2% gain.

Oil stocks SK Holdings and S-Oil are trading weak. Energy major KEPCO is up by 0.7%. Among steel majors, Hyundai Steel is up by 0.5%, while POSCO is trading 1.5% down.

Airliner Korea Airlines is trading with a strong 4.7% gain. Asiana Airlines is up nearly a percent. Telecom stocks are trading mixed.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong, Japan and Shanghai are trading weak. The Australian market has pared early gains and is trading just modestly higher now. Taiwan is up sharply. Indonesia and New Zealand are up with modest gains, while Singapore is trading flat.

Stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region had finished on the upside on Monday.

On Wall Street, stocks recovered during the final hour on Monday after trading in the red for a considerable length of time.

According to a release from the commerce department, new home sales jumped 11% to an annual rate of 384,000 in June from the revised May rate of 346,000. The rise was much more than economists had been anticipating. The month-to-month percentage change is the highest in nearly 9 years. The stronger than expected sales growth came amid a pullback in prices, with the median sales price of new houses sold in June falling 5.8% to US$206,200 from US$219,000 in the previous month. The median sales price had increased for two consecutive months.

The Dow closed up by 15.27 points or 0.2% at 9,109, the Nasdaq climbed by 1.93 points or 0.1% to 1,968 and the S&P 500 edged up by 2.92 points or 0.3% to 982.

Major European markets ended the day higher after seeing some volatility. The German DAX index gained 0.4% while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index and the French CAC 40 index both eked out 0.2% percent gains.

Crude oil finished a choppy session mildly higher on Monday after earlier challenging US$69 per barrel. Oil received a spark from encouraging housing data that led to believe better days may be looming for energy demand. Light sweet crude oil for August delivery rose to US$68.38, up 33 cents on the session. Prices earlier touched as high as US$68.99 before hitting a low of US$67.60.

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