The South Korea stock market has moved lower in three consecutive trading days, falling almost 40 points or 1.8 percent along the way. The KOSPI now rests just beneath the 2,360-point plateau and the losses may accelerate on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian is broadly negative as tensions continue to escalate between North Korea and the United States. The European and U.S. markets were down and the Asian markets are expected to follow suit.

The KOSPI finished modestly lower on Thursday as losses from the steel companies were tempered by mixed performances from the financials and stocks.

For the day, the index sank 8.92 points or 0.38 percent to finish at 2,359.47 after trading between 2,339.06 and 2,371.50.

Among the actives, Shinhan Financial collected 0.18 percent, while Woori Bank fell 0.54 percent, SK hynix added 0.31 percent, LG Electronics surged 3.22 percent, Samsung Electronics shed 0.82 percent, Hyundai Motor lost 0.68 percent, Kia Motors dipped 0.42 percent, POSCO skidded 1.91 percent, Hyundai Steel dropped 1.14 percent, S-Oil advanced 1.29 percent and LG Chem jumped 1.50 percent.

The lead from Wall Street is weak as stocks moved sharply lower on Thursday as the NASDAQ and S&P 500 fell to their lowest closing levels in a month.

The Dow lost 204.69 points or 0.9 percent to 21,844.01, while the NASDAQ fell 135.46 points or 2.1 percent to 6,216.87 and the S&P dipped 35.81 points or 1.5 percent to 2,438.21.

Geopolitical concerns continued to weigh amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. President Trump further ratcheted up the rhetoric, suggesting that his "fire and fury" comments may not have been tough enough.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted an unexpected drop in U.S. producer prices in July, while a separate report showed an uptick in initial jobless claims last week.

Crude oil futures fell Thursday after OPEC admitted its production rose in July despite a supply quota agreement with Russia. WTI light sweet crude oil dropped 82 cents to $48.72 a barrel, down from a two-month high near $50.

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