(RTTNews) – The South Korea stock market has finished higher in back-to-back sessions, gathering more than 30 points or 1.2 percent along the way. Now at a fresh record closing high, the KOSPI sits just shy of the 2,635-point plateau and it may add to its winnings again on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is positive on optimism for a coronavirus vaccine. The European and U.S. markets were up on Friday and the Asian markets are tipped to open in similar fashion.
The KOSPI finished modestly higher on Friday following gains from the technology stocks, weakness from the financials and mixed performances from the industrials.
For the day, the index climbed 24.37 points or 0.94 percent to finish at 2,625.91 after trading between 2,618.47 and 2,635.00. Volume was 1.4 billion shares worth 12.5 trillion won. There were 433 gainers and 393 decliners.
Among the actives, Shinhan Financial dropped 0.87 percent, while KB Financial sank 1.03 percent, Hana Financial retreated 1.39 percent, Samsung Electronics spiked 2.10 percent, LG Electronics advanced 0.92 percent, SK Hynix rallied 2.26 percent, Samsung SDI accelerated 2.23 percent, LG Chem soared 3.55 percent, Lotte Chemical shed 0.69 percent, S-Oil declined 1.26 percent, SK Innovation jumped 2.57 percent, POSCO skidded 1.02 percent, SK Telecom climbed 1.29 percent, KEPCO dipped 0.23 percent, Hyundai Motor eased 0.28 percent and Kia Motors added 0.61 percent.
The lead from Wall Street is upbeat as stocks opened higher on Friday and stayed mostly in the green throughout the shortened session, although the Dow slipped briefly into the red before rebounding.
The Dow rose 37.90 points or 0.13 percent to finish at 29.910.37, while the NASDAQ climbed 111.44 points or 0.92 percent to 12,205.85 and the S&P 500 added 8.70 points or 0.24 percent to close at 3,638.35. For the week, the Dow added 2.2 percent, the NASDAQ gained 3 percent and the S&P rose 2.3 percent.
Optimism about a potential coronavirus vaccine has contributed to recent strength on Wall Street, although some questions have been raised about the efficacy of the vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.
Nonetheless, overall trading activity was subdued in the shortened trading session, as many traders remained away from their desks following Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.
Crude oil futures settled lower on Friday but still managed to post a strong weekly gain. Rising optimism about coronavirus vaccine raised hopes that global energy demand will pick up and lifted crude oil prices in recent sessions. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January fell $0.18 or 0.4 percent at $45.53 a barrel. WTI crude oil futures gained 8 percent for the week.
Closer to home, South Korea will release October numbers for industrial production and retail sales later this morning. Industrial production is expected to dip 1.0 percent on month and 2.5 percent on year after rising 5.4 percent on month and 8.0 percent on year in September. Retail sales were up 1.7 percent on month and 4.4 percent on year in September.