Time now for an in-depth look at the market news on this Monday.
And for that, I'm joined on the line by Dr. Yang Jun-sok, Professor of Economics at The Catholic University of Korea.
Professor Yang, good afternoon. Thank you for coming on today.
Stocks on Wall Street ended on Friday significantly higher for the week with companies reporting strong earnings. Goldman Sachs was one of those companies, its shares up 3.8 percent for the session. Other big banks up too, like B of A and JP Morgan. What's the story in the global markets as we start the week?
Here in Korea, last Friday we saw the benchmark KOSPI rise back above 3-thousand points. We'd seen local stocks decline day after day for a while. Today they were down again, but still holding that 3-thousand point threshold. Tell us about the domestic market.
In the meantime, oil prices are inching higher and higher, and combined with the recent weakness in the Korean currency, we'd expect consumers to start feeling the impact of that, and indeed prices have been rising. How do you see that impact, and what if anything ought to be done about it?
Before we go, professor, a little on the debt situation. Data in Korea show mortgage rates edging closer to five percent that's on the high end of the range for a variable rate. Those and credit loan rates have risen about half a percent in the past couple of months. What can you say about that move with respect to the huge increase in debt taken on by households in the pandemic?