The stock market in South Korea opened higher on Friday and is currently trading in positive territory, taking cues from the U.S markets where the indices ended higher on increasing optimism that the global economy could recover earlier-than-expected. Comments from Treasury Secretary Geithner and strong demand for the 7-year note in the treasury market overshadowed the weak economic data related to GDP and weekly job loss numbers.
On Thursday, the Dow closed up 174.75 points or 2.3% at 7,925, the Nasdaq closed up 58.05 points or 3.8% at 1,587 and the S&P 500 closed up 18.98 points or 2.3% at 833.
The benchmark KOSPI Index in South Korea opened Friday's session higher at 1,249, compared to its previous of 1,244, and is currently trading at 1,248, up 4.63 points, or 0.34%.
The local currency, the Won, opened higher against the US greenback at 1320 Won per US$, up from 1,330.5 Won, and is presently quoted at 1,315.50 Won per US$.
In Asian trading, crude oil is currently down $0.27 at $54.07 a barrel, in electronic trading. Light sweet crude for May delivery closed at $54.34 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up $1.57 on the session.
The Central Bank of Korea revealed that the South Korean economy shrank a revised 5.1% last quarter, lower than the previous estimate of 5.6% decline, and attributed smaller falls in corporate investment as the primary reason for the same.
Technology stocks and automakers are the major gainers in the early session.
Hynix Semiconductor is advancing 9.4% and LG Display is advancing 1.22%. However, LG Electronics is edging down 0.12%. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics is gaining 2.63%.
Among the automakers, Kia Motors is rising 4.75%, Hyundai Motor is gaining 3.91%, and Ssangyang Motor is advancing 5.99%.
Financials are trading mixed. While KB Financial Group, the holding firm of Kookmin Bank, is gaining 0.82%, Shinhan Financial and Woori Finance are trading lower 0.72% and 2.30% respectively.
Shipbuilders are trading higher. Hyundai Heavy Industries is advancing 1.19%, Daewoo Ship building is gaining 0.44%, and Samsung Heavy Industries is edging up 0.18%.
Oil related stocks are trading weaker. S-Oil is down 0.44% and SK Holdings is losing 0.50%.
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