RTTNews - The South Korean stock market has finished higher now in three consecutive sessions, collecting nearly 35 points or 3 percent in the process. The KOSPI is close to regaining the 1,400-point plateau after giving it up the week before last, although investors are looking for the market to show little movement at the opening of trade on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed, with perhaps a touch of upside coming from the technology sectors - although several of the regional bourses are riding modest winning streaks and could see a minor downside correction. The U.S. markets ended in mixed fashion on Friday, as did the European markets - and the Asian markets are predicted also to stay close to the unchanged line.
The KOSPI finished barely higher on Friday, nudged into positive territory by gains among the technology stocks. Power companies also were higher, while the industrials fell under modest selling pressure.
For the day, the index eased 1.8 points or 0.13 percent to close at 1,394.53 after trading between 1,388.38 and 1,404.01. Volume was 416.24 million shares worth 4.5 trillion won, with gainers outnumbering losers 400 to 397.
Among the actives, Samsung Electronics climbed 1.36 percent, while LG Electronics rose 1.28 percent, Ssangyong Motor added 3.94 percent, POSCO gained 1.2 percent, Korea Gas Corporation was up 4.3 percent, Korea Electric Power Corp rose 0.3 percent and Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction fell 4.38 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is fairly inconclusive as stocks finished Friday's session on a mixed note, with traders largely shrugging off the day's economic data. The major averages finished on opposite sides of the unchanged line by mild margins, seeing yet another lackluster outing prompted by low volume.
Ahead of the opening bell on Wall Street, a report from the Commerce Department showed that personal income jumped 1.4 percent in May following an upwardly revised 0.7 percent increase in April, although the growth was due in large part to increased government social benefit payments.
Excluding the effects of the stimulus bill, disposable personal income, or personal income less personal current taxes, increased by a much more modest 0.2 percent in May. The report also indicated that that personal spending rose 0.3 percent in May after coming in unchanged in the previous month. The moderate increase in spending came in line with economist estimates.
Separately, a report from Reuters and the University of Michigan showed that the consumer sentiment index was revised up to 70.8 in June from the preliminary reading of 69.0, coming in well above the May reading of 68.7. Economists had been expecting the index to be unrevised at 69.0.
On the earnings front, KB Home (KBH) reported a second-quarter net loss of $1.03 per share, compared to a net loss of $3.30 per share for the same period last year. Analysts expected the company to report a loss of $0.64 per share for the quarter.
Meanwhile, Qantas said that it has reached a mutual agreement with Boeing (BA) to defer the delivery of 15 aircraft by four years and cancel orders for 15 others scheduled for delivery in 2014 and 2015.
The major indices finished the day on a mixed note, failing to sustain a late rally. While the NASDAQ closed up by 8.68 points or 0.5 percent at 1,838.22, the Dow slipped by 34.01 points or 0.4 percent to 8,438.39 and the S&P 500 fell 1.36 or 0.2 percent to 918.90. With the mixed performance for the session, the major averages also closed mixed for the week. While the NASDAQ posted a 0.6 percent gain for the week, the Dow and the S&P 500 posted their second consecutive weekly losses, falling 1.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
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