RTTNews - The South Korean market is trading higher on Friday with investors lapping up stocks from the automobile and technology sectors. The overnight surge on Wall Street and optimism about a global economic revival are driving stock prices up today.

The benchmark index KOSPI, which rose to 1,616.3 this morning, is currently up by 7 points or 0.42% at 1,606.3. On Thursday, the index had declined 14.8 points, or 0.9%, to 1,599.3.

Technology stocks are trading firm following better-than-expected quarterly results announced by Dell Inc., the world's second-largest maker of personal computers. Hynix Semiconductor and LG Electronics are trading higher by 3% and 3.7% respectively. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics is up by 1.6%, while LG Display LCD is trading with a modest 0.6% gain.

In the automobile space, Hyundai Motor is gaining as much as 4%, Kia Motor is trading up by 1.3% and Ssangyong Motor is up by nearly 1%.

Steel stocks Hyundai Steel and POSCO are up by 1.5% and 0.5% respectively, while oil stocks are exhibiting a mixed trend.

Among bank stocks, Woori Finance is up 1.8% over its previous close and Shinhan Financial is trading up by 0.8%. Korea Exchange Bank and KB Financial are down with modest losses.

Airlines and telecommunications stocks are trading weak. Among shipbuilders, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Hyundai Heavy Industries are exhibiting weakness, while Samsung Heavy Industries is up by a modest 0.7%. Bulk carrier STX Pan Ocean is down by 1.3%.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Australia, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan are trading notably higher. Shanghai is declining sharply, with its benchmark Shanghai Composite Average losing as much as 2.2%. Hong Kong and Singapore are also exhibiting weakness. Stock markets across the region had closed mostly lower on Thursday.

On Wall Street, stocks ended with modest gains on Thursday despite an initial retreat into the red. Though stocks failed to sustain at higher levels due to uncertainty about the economic outlook, the Dow managed to sign off on a positive note for the eighth successive session.

The Dow advanced by 37.11 points, or 0.4%, to 9,580.63, the Nasdaq gained 3.30 points, or 0.2%, to close at 2,027.73 and the S&P 500 edged up by 2.86 points, or 0.3%, to 1,030.98.

Major European markets closed on the downside on Thursday. The German DAX index ended lower by about 1%, while the French CAC 40 index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index both fell by 0.5%.

After showing a notable decline in early trading on Thursday, crude oil prices rallied following a downturn in the value of the U.S. dollar. Crude for October delivery ended the session up US$1.06 at US$72.49 a barrel, after falling as low as US$69.83 earlier in the day.

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