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Asia Top News and Analysis South Korea

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    Asian markets ended mostly higher Thursday, lifted by banks and financials. Japan and South Korea both closed 2 percent higher with Australia finishing almost 3 percent higher, buoyed by a Wall Street rebound on optimism that a rescue for U.S. bond insurers may be in the making.

  • A stockbroker watches his terminal during trading in Bombay, India, Thursday, May 18, 2006. Indian shares plunged Thursday, with the benchmark stock index tumbling 6.8 percent, or more than 800 points, its biggest point drop ever, largely on fears of higher taxes on foreign funds that invest in Indian stocks. (AP Photo/Rajesh Nirgude)

    Asian shares rallied on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve's biggest interest rate cut in over two decades, but nagging fears of a U.S. recession prompted many indexes to give up much of their early gains.

  • KTF Co, South Korea's No. 2 mobile carrier, reported on Wednesday its quarterly profit halved as marketing costs to win high-speed mobile subscribers wiped out revenue and user growth.

  • South Korea issued fresh assurances on Wednesday that it would take swift measures should the local financial system face a credit squeeze, but said the economy remained healthy despite global market turbulence.

  • Stock investors watch stock movement at a stock exchange in Chengdu, China.

    Asian stocks took another massive leg downwards Tuesday as growing fears of a U.S. recession renewed pressures on share prices. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished the session 8.7 percent lower, while Australia’s major index lost 7.1 percent.

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    It was a dismal session for Asian stocks Monday, with markets dragged down by financial counters. Japan finished almost 4% lower. South Korea shed nearly 3% and Australia declined for the 11th straight session, down 2.9%.

  • Stock investors watch stock movement at a stock exchange in Chengdu, China.

    Most Asian markets managed to bounce back and close higher Friday, except for India's Sensex index which closed down by more than 3 percent.

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    Asian stocks closed mixed after a volatile trading session Thursday as investors flitted between profit-taking and bargain-hunting. Japan finished 2 percent higher -- it was down almost 1 percent at one point -- but Australia closed lower for the ninth straight session.

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    Asian markets took a severe beating Wednesday on growing concern the U.S. economy would slump into a prolonged recession. Hong Kong's Hang Seng ended 5.4 percent lower and Japan's Nikkei index plunged over 3 percent. Even the best performing of the benchmark indexes, the Bombay Sensex, suffered a loss of 1.8 percent.

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    Asian markets reversed gains, finishing in negative territory Tuesday with both Japan and South Korea closing down 1 percent and Hong Kong losing 2.4 percent .  The Nikkei sank below the key 14,000 support level while the KOSPI finished at five-month lows.

  • Samsung

    Samsung Electronics, the world's top maker of memory chips, reported on Tuesday a smaller-than-expected 7 percent fall in quarterly profit as strong results from flat screens offset a dismal showing by chips.

  • Asian markets ended mostly lower Monday, while the price of gold hit a new record high above $900 a troy ounce as investors sought protection against a potential U.S. recession and a weaker dollar. Hong Kong stocks closed 1.5 percent lower and South Korean shares lost almost 1 percent. 

  • Flat screen maker LG.Philips LCD reported its highest ever quarterly profit on Monday, rebounding from a year-ago loss, and predicted 2008 profitability would improve from 2007.

  • Asian markets closed sharply lower Friday, with the exception of China and India, as investors sold down shares after report in the New York Times that Merrill Lynch could suffer $15 billion in losses from soured mortgage investments, almost twice its orginal estimate. Japan shed almost 2 percent and South Korea finished 2.3 percent lower.

  • A man uses his mobile phone in front of electronic stock boards at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX Ltd.) headquarters in Sydney, Australia.

    Asian markets were mostly lower in the afternoon session Thursday, on worries about global growth after Goldman Sachs forecast a U.S. recession this year. Both Japan and South Korea closed over 1 percent lower.

  • South Korea's central bank held its main interest rate steady at 5.00 percent on Thursday, as widely expected, deciding not to tighten to tackle rising inflation as it remains cautious over the risk of a global economic slowdown.

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    Asian markets rebounded in the afternoon session Wednesday after initially falling to three-week lows on the back of Wall Street's dismal performance Tuesday.  Both Japan and South Korea clawed back into positive territory to finish the session stronger.

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    Most Asian markets were edging higher in the afternoon session Tuesday following recent falls. Japan managed to finish slightly higher after spending most of the day in negative territory. But South Korea closed lower.

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    Asian stocks continued the negative start to the year Monday as many indexes sank to two-week lows, but Chinese and Indian indexes managed robust gains. Taiwan's TIAEX closed over 4 percent lower and Singapore' Straits Times Index ended 2.5 percent down.

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    Japanese stocks tumbled as much as 5 percent on Friday, the first trading day in a week, as growing worries about the U.S. economy battered Wall Street.