RTTNews - The South Korean stock market is trading weak on Thursday with traders going in for some profit taking despite the country's consumer confidence rising to a seven-year high in August on hopes of an economic recovery.

According to the data released by Bank of Korea on Wednesday, the consumer confidence index climbed to 114 in August from 109 in July, rising for the fifth straight month. The reading was the highest since the third quarter of 2002. However, the mood is cautious in the market today with a flat close on Wall Street and weakness in other markets in the Asia-Pacific region weighing on investor sentiment.

The KOSPI, which had ended the previous session with a modest gain of 12.7 points, is currently down in the red with a loss of 7.8 points, or 0.48%, to 1,606.

In the banking sector, Korea Exchange Bank, Shinhan Financial, Woori Finance and KB Financial are trading lower by 1.2%-2.5%.

Among technology stocks, Samsung Electronics is down by 1.2%, LG Electronics is down by a modest 0.7% and Hynix Semiconductor is trading flat. LG Display LCD is trading modestly higher.

In the automobile space, Kia Motor is gaining over 2% and Hyundai Motor is up by about 0.5%, while Ssangyong Motor is trading lower by 0.7%.

Shipbuilding and steel stocks are trading mixed. Oil stocks SK Holdings and S-Oil are down by 0.4% and 1.2% respectively. KEPCO is down by nearly 1%.

Among airliners, Korea Airlines is up by 4.5% and Asiana Airlines is trading up by 1.2%. Telecom stocks are exhibiting a mixed trend.

Among other markets in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan is down sharply today. Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore are also trading weak, while Shanghai and Taiwan are up modestly. Stock markets across the region had closed mostly higher on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks finished Wednesday's session little changed, with the day's trading marred by choppy movement despite largely positive news on the economic front. Though data on new home sales and durable goods orders in July triggered some buying early on in the day, stocks gave up most of the gains as traders chose to take profits ahead of the weekly jobless claims report.

The Dow closed up by 4.23 points at 9,543.52, the Nasdaq gained 0.20 points to finish at 2024.43 and the S&P 500 rose by 0.12 points to 1,028.12.

Major European markets closed moderately lower on Wednesday. The French CAC 40 Index slid by 0.3%, while the German DAX index and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively.

Oil prices fell on Wednesday after official data showed a surprise jump in crude inventories in the U.S., the world's biggest energy consuming nation. Light sweet crude for October delivery dropped 62 cents to US$71.43 a barrel, a day after it climbed to a 10-month intraday high of US$75.

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