South Korea Bourse Poised To Extend Its Gains

(RTTNews) – The South Korea stock market on Wednesday ended the three-day losing streak in which it had fallen almost 60 points or 2 percent. The KOSPI now sits just beneath the 2,990-point plateau and it may add to its winnings on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is upbeat following results of the FOMC’s monetary policy meeting. The European and U.S. markets were solidly higher and the Asian bourses figure to open in similar fashion.

The KOSPI finished barely higher on Wednesday following gains from the oil companies, weakness from the industrials and mixed performances from the financials and technology stocks.

For the day, the index added 1.44 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 2,989.39 after trading between 2,973.00 and 2,992.30. Volume was 425.9 million shares worth 8.1 trillion won. There were 521 decliners and 319 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial fell 0.27 percent, while KB Financial eased 0.17 percent, Hana Financial collected 0.34 percent, Samsung Electronics gained 0.88 percent, LG Electronics advanced 0.78 percent, LG Display soared 3.15 percent, SK Hynix rallied 2.07 percent, Naver retreated 1.15 percent, Samsung SDI lost 0.88 percent, LG Chem declined 0.71 percent, Lotte Chemical skidded 1.07 percent, S-Oil rose 0.23 percent, SK Innovation sank 0.71 percent, POSCO tanked 2.25 percent, SK Telecom shed 0.36 percent, KEPCO slid 0.23 percent, Hyundai Motor dropped 0.95 percent and Kia Motors retreated 1.17 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is broadly positive as the major averages opened slightly lower on Wednesday but then surged in the afternoon to finish sharply higher.

The Dow soared 383.25 points or 1.08 percent to finish at 35,927.43, while the NASDAQ spiked 327.94 points or 2.15 percent to end at 15,565.58 and the S&P 500 jumped 75.76 points or 1.63 percent to close at 4,709.85.

The late-day rally on Wall Street came after the Fed announced its widely expected decision to accelerate the pace of reductions to its asset purchases program. Citing inflation developments and further improvement in the labor market, the Fed said it has decided to reduce the monthly pace of its net asset purchases by $30 billion per month, double the previously announced $15 billion per month.

The Fed said it expects similar reductions in the pace of net asset purchases will likely be appropriate each month, pointing to an end to the program next March. Analysts partly attributed the subsequent rally to relief that the Fed was not more aggressive in accelerating the timetable for halting its asset purchases.

Meanwhile, the Fed also announced its widely expected decision to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at zero to 0.25 percent. The central bank’s latest projections forecast as many three rate hikes in 2022 compared to the lone rate hike forecast in September.

Despite the prospect of sooner than expected rate hikes, analysts suggested traders were pleased with the increased level of certainty provided by the Fed’s latest projections.

Crude oil futures settled higher on Wednesday after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said crude inventories in the U.S. dropped by 4.6 million barrels last week. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for January ended up by $0.14 or 0.2 percent at $70.87 a barrel.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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