South Korean shares may fall to around the 2,360 level next week as the customs office is widely expected to release weakening export data, with all eyes on the outcome of the Jackson Hole meeting, market watchers said Saturday.
On Friday, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index edged up 2.67 points, or 0.11 percent, at 2,378.51. It was up 0.9 percent from a week earlier.
This week, the KOSPI index traded in a tight range as investors remained cautious awaiting cues from the US Federal Reserve's annual economic policy symposium in Wyoming, held for three days starting Thursday (US time).
"The words of European Central Bank President Mario Draghi at Jackson Hole will affect investors' sentiment in the Korean stock markets on Monday (Korean time). If he does not comment on the reduction of monetary easing (in Europe), the euro will weaken but the dollar will strengthen," Daishin Securities Co. analyst Park Choon-young said.
The dollar's strength often makes foreign investors in the KOPSI market sell more of their Korean stocks to minimize their foreign-exchange losses.
As for the possible impact from the court's ruling against Samsung Group, South Korea's top conglomerate by assets, on the stock market next week, the analyst didn't expect any big blows.
"As Samsung Electronics' fundamentals are solid enough to cushion the impact from the court's decision, we don't expect any sharp plunge in the chipmaker's prices in the coming week," she said.
Just minutes before the market's close Friday, the Seoul Central District Court sentenced Samsung Electronics Co. Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong to five years in prison, finding him guilty of bribery, embezzlement and other charges in a massive corruption scandal that forced former President Park Geun-hye out of office in March.
The ruling sent market bellwether Samsung Electronics 1.05 percent lower to end at 2,351,000 won.
Brokerages forecast the KOSPI to move in a range between 2,360 and 2,400 next week. (Yonhap)