Ahead of Wednesday holiday for elections, the South Korea stock market had finished lower in two of three trading days since the end of the five-day winning streak in which it had climbed almost 60 points or 2.6 percent. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2,470-point plateau and it may take further damage on Thursday.

The global forecast for the Asian is negative thanks to renewed concern over the outlook for interest rates. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian bourses figure to follow that lead.

The KOSPI finished barely lower on Tuesday as losses from the steel and financial companies were tempered by support from the automobile producers and telecoms - while the stocks were mixed.

For the day, the index eased 1.32 points or 0.05 percent to finish at 2,468.83 after trading between 2,462.84 and 2,479.56. Volume was 601.58 million shares worth 9.40 trillion won. There were 492 decliners and 323 gainers.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial lost 0.63 percent, while KB Financial fell 0.87 percent, Hana Financial dipped 0.65 percent, Woori Bank collected 1.20 percent, POSCO dropped 1.61 percent, Hyundai Steel tumbled 2.72 percent, Samsung Electronics skidded 1 percent, LG Electronics jumped 1.12 percent, SK hynix shed 0.90 percent, Hyundai Motor added 0.72 percent, Kia Motors gained 0.77 percent and SK Telecom spiked 2.28 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is soft as stocks saw modest strength for much of Wednesday but came under pressure following the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement.

The Dow slid 119.53 points or 0.47 percent to 25,201.20, while the NASDAQ eased 8.09 points or 0.11 percent to 7,695.70 and the S&P 500 fell 11.22 points or 0.40 percent to 2,775.63.

The pullback came after the Fed announced its decision to raise interest rates by 25 basis points to a range of 1.75 to 2 percent. The rate hike was widely expected, but the Fed surprised investors by forecasting two additional rate hikes this year after previously predicting only one rate.

The central bank said data received since its May meeting indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a solid rate.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a bigger than expected increase in producer prices in May - while core producer prices also ticked higher.

Crude oil futures rose Wednesday after energy inventories fell more than forecast. July WTI oil climbed 28 cents or 0.4 percent to settle at $66.64/bbl.

by P2PNews Staff Writer

editorial@p2pnews.com

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