RTTNews - The South Korean stock market is trading higher on Monday for the fourth straight session, as investors garnered tech stocks as well as shares of construction companies. However, gains are limited as investors preferred to remain cautious ahead of the corporate earnings reports for the second quarter.
In mid-morning trades, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index, or KOSPI, is gaining 9.83 points or 0.70% to 1404.36.
U.S. stocks finished Friday's session on a mixed note. A report from the Commerce Department showed that personal spending, incomes and savings all rose in May. However, investors were worried that the savings rate touched a 15-year high as it stoked concerns that demand in the world's largest economy will remain weak.
Crude oil fell on Friday amid demand concerns and lost the US$70 a barrel mark again. Light sweet crude oil for August delivery closed at US$69.16 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down US$1.07 for the session.
The South Korean market closed barely higher on Friday, led by gains among the technology stocks amid increasing hopes of recovery. The KOSPI closed with a marginal gain of 1.80 points, or 0.13% at 1,395.
The markets have little to digest in terms of economic news on Monday.
In the currency market, the South Korean won is trading at 1,286.45 won to the U.S. dollar in late morning trades, down 2.15 won from Friday's close.
Kumho Asiana Group, the parent company of builder Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., said it will sell the builder, in an apparent effort to avert a worsening liquidity problem. Shares of Daewoo Engineering are up more than 12%, while those of Kumho Asiana are gaining more than 9%.
In the tech space, market heavyweight Samsung Electronics is advancing 1.34%, Hynix Semiconductor is up 0.36%, LG Display LCD is gaining 2.81% and LG Electronics is adding 0.42%.
Automakers and steel stocks are trading mixed. Among automakers, Hyundai Motor is advancing 1.34% and Kia Motors is gaining 2.5%, while Ssangyong Motor is down 10.86%. Steel maker Hyundai Steel is losing 0.68% and Posco is gaining 1.07%.
Oil issue SK Holdings is advancing 1.42% and energy stock Kepco is gaining 1.86%, while Oil scrip S-Oil is down more than 3%.
In the banking sector, Shinhan Financial is advancing 1.11% and KB Financial, the holding firm of Kookmin Bank, is up 0.47%. Meanwhile, Woori Finance is losing 0.97% and Korea Exchange Bank is unchanged. Telecom issue SK Telecom is down 0.26% and KT Corp. is adding 0.14%.
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