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Stock market volatility index fell to record low in 2013

Stock market volatility index fell to record low in 2013

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Published : 2014-01-02 14:15
Updated : 2014-01-02 14:15

The South Korean stock market's volatility index dropped to an all-time low in 2013, data showed on Thursday, indicating that the local shares traded in a tight range last year amid protracted economic recovery.

The so-called V-KOSPI 200 index came in at 15.29 last year, marking the lowest since 2003 when comparable figures were available, according to the data compiled by the Korea Exchange. The bourse operator started publishing the index in 2009.

The index represents the volatility of the main bourse's futures market as predicted by investors of the KOSPI 200 options based on their prices, and also indicates volatility of the country's stock market. The KOSPI 200 refers to a basket of 200 blue-chip shares listed on the main Seoul bourse.

The index surged to an all-time high of 36.07 in 2008 when the global financial market was jolted by the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The second-highest reading was 31.16 in 2009.

Last year, the comparable figure for 2012 was 19.32, the data showed.

The record-low volatility index shows that the local stock market remained in a tight range as a delayed economic recovery, coupled with a dearth of any positive and negative events, prodded investors to sit on the fence, according to market watchers.

"The lower volatility index indicates investors remained on the sidelines, not expecting the local stock market to show any big upside or downside moves," said Oh Seung-hoon, an analyst at Daishin Securities.

The country's key stock index, the KOSPI, closed at 2,011.34 on the last trading session of last year, up 14.29 points, or 0.72 percent, from the end of 2012. Its annual gain, however, is a sharp fall from the previous year's annual rise of 9.4 percent.

The KOSPI dipped to a yearly low of 1,780.63 points on June 25 last year and touched a yearly high of 2,059.58 points on Oct. 30.

The daily stock turnover on the main bourse was 4 trillion won ($3.8 billion) for the full year of 2013, a sharp drop from 4.8 trillion won a year earlier, and the average daily trading volume also sank 33 percent to 330 million shares over the cited period, according to the data. (Yonhap News)

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