The South Korean stock market may gain ground this week as investor sentiment is relieved on eased concerns over a military clash between Ukraine and Russia, analysts said Saturday.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index finished at 1,974.68, up 0.1 percent from a week earlier, trading in a narrow range throughout the week from political unrest in Ukraine and North Korea’s firing of short-range missiles. Analysts said that the KOSPI is likely to try to move up next week as crisis in Ukraine settles down, but the upward momentum may still not be so strong due to weak corporate earnings.
“Next week, the KOSPI is likely to be on the moderate upturn track, led by cyclical stocks,” said Lee Jung-min, an analyst at KDB Daewoo Securities Co.
The Bank of Korea and the Bank of Japan hold their policy meetings next week. Analysts said that the BOJ is not likely to take further quantitative easing moves ahead of a hike in sales tax scheduled for April.
They also said that Korea’s central bank will probably hold its key interest rate for the 10th-straight month on Thursday as the local economy is improving amid low inflation.
Meanwhile in the United States, some 175,000 new jobs were created in February, followed by a 129,000 increase the previous month, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday, hinting at the world’s largest economy gaining ground.
Despite the favorable new jobs figure, unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent last month from 6.6 percent during the same period, as the level of employment scarcely changed in January while the number of people out of work grew.
BOK Gov. Kim Choong-soo will preside over his final policy meeting as his four-year term will end in March. (Yonhap)