South Korean stocks are expected to trade in a tight range next week as investors will likely take a breather after the benchmark index's sharp rise, analysts said Saturday.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,192.36 on Friday, down 0.25 percent, or 5.46 points, from one week ago.
Although the KOSPI finished this week lower, the market staged a rally during the whole month of April. The benchmark gauge rose 4.4 percent this month from March, renewing fresh highs for several sessions.
The KOSPI hit a record high above the 2,230 level on Wednesday but could not sustain the advance despite reports that the Fed will not cut back its stimulus plan.
On Friday, better-than-expected earnings reports from automakers and chemicals producers prompted profit-taking, weighing down the key index.
Analysts said that investors will likely take to the sidelines next week during the final phase of the first-quarter earnings season until they find a new momentum.
"As major companies at home and abroad have finished announcing their first-quarter earnings, earnings expectations will lose steam," said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at Daewoo Securities Co.
"There aren't many factors that could boost the key index," said Kim Byung-yeon, a market analyst at Woori Investment & Securities Co.