Seoul shares likely to be under pressure next week

By Yonhap

Published : Jan 13, 2018 - 11:29
Updated : Jan 13, 2018 - 11:29

South Korean stocks are expected to move in a tight range next week as investors await a mixed bag of economic data at home and abroad ahead of the corporate earnings season, analysts said Saturday.

Yonhap


The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,496.42 points on Friday, inching down 0.04 percent from a week ago. 

Local stocks got off to a strong start on Monday thanks to an upbeat mood on Wall Street, but slumped for three consecutive sessions as flagging tech heavyweights dragged down the market. The index closed higher Friday on bargain hunting. 

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics fell 7.52 percent this week after posting a weaker-than-expected operating profit estimate for the fourth quarter of 2017, while analysts raised concerns that the memory chip boom is likely to peak soon. 

The tech-heavy KOSDAQ market jumped 6 percent this week as the government on Thursday announced a set of measures to support the secondary market, including tax incentives for individual investors in start-up funds, and simpler listing rules. 

Bio and securities were among the top performing sectors of the week, while tech and food shares were at bottom. 

"Analysts are lowering their operating profit estimates for KOSPI firms, which could weigh on the market in the short term," Kim Byung-yeon, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said.

"The market is expected to come under profit-taking pressure in the coming week, while the Korean won is expected to remain strong." 

The Bank of Korea will make its rate decision on Thursday, after lifting the key interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 1.5 percent on Nov. 30 for the first time in more than six years.
 
Also Thursday, the U.S. Federal Reserve is set to release its latest report on regional economies, called Beige Book, and China plans to announce its official gross domestic product data for 2017. (Yonhap)

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