RTTNews - One day after ending the two-day winning streak in which it had collected 22 points or 1.6 percent, the South Korean stock market turned right back to the upside again on Friday. The KOSPI broke through resistance at the 1,420-point plateau, although analysts are predicting that the market could slide back below that level at the opening of trade on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets provides little in the way of guidance, especially with no lead from Wall Street as the U.S. bourses were closed on Friday in observance of Independence Day. With the absence of any fresh data, many investors are expected to remain on the sidelines - especially with Q2 earnings season kicking off later this week. The European markets finished slightly lower on Friday, and the Asian markets are expected to track flat to mildly negative.
The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Friday, recovering in the afternoon from sharp losses at the opening. Bargain hunting among the technology stocks led the recovery, while pharmaceuticals also ended higher.
For the day, the index added 8.56 points or 0.61 percent to close at the daily high of 1,420.04 after dipping as low as 1,389.39.
Among the actives, LG Display was up 3.54 percent, while Hynix Semiconductor added 2.4 percent, LG Life Sciences was up 4.55 percent, Green Cross gained 4.59 percent, Hanwha Chemical added 5.5 percent, SK Energy lost 1.54 percent and GS Holdings eased 0.17 percent.
The lead from the European markets is mildly negative as markets fell in light volume for the second straight day on Friday, as a report showed Eurozone retail sales dropped more than expected in May and mining stocks edged lower after copper prices declined. Eurozone retail sales fell 0.4 percent month-on-month in May following a revised increase of 0.1 percent in April, data released by the Eurostat showed. Economists had expected a drop of just 0.1 percent.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.06 percent lower at 842.52 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index rose 0.06 percent to 2,077.28 points. Around Europe, Germany's DAX index fell 0.22 percent to 4,708.21, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.05 percent to 4,236.28 and France's CAC 40 index surged up 0.10 percent to 3,119.51.
Metro, Germany's biggest retailer, slipped 2.5 percent, as European retail sales dropped more than economists estimated. BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, fell 1.4 percent, while Anglo American, the second biggest, declined 1.2 percent and Rio Tinto, the third biggest, slipped 2.2 percent. EDF, Europe's biggest power producer, dropped 4.5 percent after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to equal weight from overweight.
On the other hand, banking stocks were among the top gainers. HSBC, Europe's largest bank, rose 1.7 percent, while Royal Bank of Scotland, Britain's second largest bank, climbed 2.3 percent and Barclays, Britain's third largest bank, surged up 2.7 percent. BNP Paribas, France's largest bank, gained 2 percent and Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, added 1.7 percent.
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