(RTTNews) – Ahead of the long weekend break for New Year’s day, the South Korea stock market had climbed higher in five straight sessions, advancing more than 130 points or 5 percent to a fresh record closing high. The KOSPI now sits just above the 2,870-point plateau although investors figure to lock in gains on Monday.
The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed thanks to ongoing coronavirus concerns and apprehension about the U.S. political scene as Republicans continue to try to overturn results of the presidential election. The European markets were down and the U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.
The KOSPI finished sharply higher on Wednesday following gains from the financial shares, technology stocks and industrial issues.
For the day, the index surged 52.96 points or 1.88 percent to finish at 2,873.47 after trading between 2,809.35 and 2,878.21. Volume was 1.1 billion shares worth 17.7 trillion won. There were 651 gainers and 191 decliners.
Among the actives, Shinhan Financial rose 0.16 percent, while Hana Financial collected 1.17 percent, Samsung Electronics spiked 3.45 percent, LG Electronics improved 2.66 percent, SK Hynix jumped 2.15 percent, Samsung SDI soared 4.49 percent, LG Chem climbed 1.35 percent, Lotte Chemical skyrocketed 4.35 percent, S-Oil accelerated 1.76 percent, SK Innovation surged 3.83 percent, POSCO perked 0.74 percent, SK Telecom added 0.21 percent, KEPCO rallied 3.79 percent, Hyundai Motor advanced 0.79 percent, Kia Motors was up 0.16 percent and KB Financial was unchanged.
The lead from Wall Street offers little guidance as stocks showed a lack of direction on Thursday before finally moving higher to end in the green.
The Dow climbed 196.88 points or 0.65 percent to finish at 30,606.48, while the NASDAQ rose 18.28 points or 0.14 percent to end at 12,888.28 and the S&P 500 gained 24.03 points or 0.64 percent to close at 3,756.07.
The gains capped off a strong year for U.S. stocks, which moved sharply higher in 2020 despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
For the year, the Dow jumped 7.3 percent, the S&P 500 surged 16.3 percent and the tech-heavy NASDAQ skyrocketed 43.6 percent – benefitting from the stay-at-home orders issued in response to the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
On the economic front, the Labor Department released a report unexpectedly showing a modest drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended December 26.
Crude oil futures settled modestly higher on Thursday despite concerns about the outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for February rose $0.12 or 0.3 percent at $48.52 a barrel. WTI Crude oil futures lost 21 percent in 2020, while Brent crude futures tumbled more than 22 percent.