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South Korea Shares Likely Rangebound On Thursday

The South Korea stock market has moved lower in consecutive trading days, sinking almost 25 points or 1 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2535-point plateau and it’s likely to remain in that neighborhood again on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed and flat following the release of U.S. inflation data that offered little clarity for interest rates. The European markets were slightly lower and the U.S. bourses were mixed and little changed and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The KOSPI finished slightly lower on Wednesday following mixed performances from the steel, oil and chemical companies, while the financial and technology shares offered support.

For the day, the index dipped 1.88 points or 0.07 percent to finish at 2,534.70. Volume was 411.2 million shares worth 9.09 trillion won. There were 549 decliners and 321 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial surged 2.08 percent, while KB Financial collected 1.28 percent, Hana Financial soared 1.60 percent, Samsung Electronics added 0.57 percent, LG Electronics skyrocketed 5.25 percent, SK Hynix rallied 1.54 percent, Naver improved 1.14 percent, LG Chem plummeted 3.40 percent, Lotte Chemical strengthened 1.67 percent, S-Oil improved 2.19 percent, SK Innovation tumbled 4.25 percent, POSCO plunged 3.11 percent, SK Telecom jumped 1.53 percent, KEPCO perked 0.17 percent, Hyundai Mobis advanced 1.08 percent, Hyundai Motor accelerated 1.93 percent, Kia Motors climbed 1.03 percent and Samsung SDI was unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street is murky as the major averages opened higher on Wednesday, quickly plummeted and then recovered to finish mixed and little changed.

The Dow sank 70.46 points or 0.20 percent to finish at 34,575.53, while the NASDAQ added 39.97 points or 0.29 percent to close at 13,813.58 and the S&P 500 rose 5.54 points or 0.12 percent to end at 4,467.44.

The choppy trading on Wall Street followed the release of the Labor Department’s report on consumer price inflation in August. The report said the consumer price index climbed by 0.6 percent in August after inching up by 0.2 percent in July.

While the data reinforced expectations the Federal Reserve will leave interest rates unchanged next week, many economists feel the bigger than expected monthly increase in core prices leaves the door open for another rate hike before the end of the year.

Following the report, CME Group’s FedWatch Tool indicates a 97.0 percent chance the Federal Reserve will leave interest rates unchanged next week. The outlook for November remains more mixed, however, with the FedWatch Tool indicating a 58.0 percent chance rates will remain unchanged and a 40.8 percent chance of another quarter-point rate hike.

Crude oil futures settled lower on Wednesday on worries about demand after data showed an unexpected jump in U.S. crude inventories. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for October fell $0.32 or 0.4 percent at $88.52 a barrel.

Source : Nasdaq