South Korean stocks are expected to take a breather next week as investors will likely assume a wait-and-see mode to learn the direction of U.S. economic and trade policies under the new Donald Trump administration, analysts here said Saturday.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,076.79 on Friday, one day after the index climbed to a near 18-month high of 2,087.14.
From a week earlier, the index gained 27.67 points or 1.35 percent.
Foreigners largely enabled such an increase, purchasing a net 762.05 billion won ($648.6 million) worth of local shares.
Foreign investors remained net buyers for 12 consecutive sessions since Dec. 27, before turning to selling on Friday in an apparent move to cash in recent gains.
On Friday, top cap Samsung Electronics closed at 1,873,000 won, plunging 3.45 percent from the record high of 1,940,000 won set up the day before.
Institutions offloaded a net 610.36 billion won this week, while retail investors also became net sellers, dumping 199.2 billion won.
“We have earlier predicted the index to reach as high as 2,120, but only after U.S. President-elect Trump came into office. The increase seen this week came earlier than we had anticipated as recent improvements in market conditions, as seen in the recent U.S. and Chinese indicators for their own manufacturing sectors, suggested a possible improvement in the global economy,” Bookook Securities analyst Kim Sung-hwan said.
Bae Sung-young, a researcher at Hyundai Securities, noted the local market, as well as the U.S. and other major stock markets, may remain range-bound even after the new U.S. president comes into office next week.
“Trump has not yet revealed a clear direction of his policies, and it may not be revealed for some time even after he is inaugurated on Jan. 20,” he said. “And therefore, the fourth-quarter results of businesses may continue to decide the direction of the local and U.S. stock markets for some time.” (Yonhap)