Seoul shares expected to move sideways next week

By 이우영
  • Published : Mar 29, 2014 - 11:33
  • Updated : Mar 29, 2014 - 11:33

The South Korean stock market is expected to trade in a narrow range next week amid a series of events at home and abroad, analysts said Saturday.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 2.22 percent from the previous week to close at 1,981.00 Friday, supported by the improved consumers' data from the U.S. and rosy outlook over the eurozone economy.

Earlier this week, Seoul shares traded lower after British bank HSBC said the PMI for China's manufacturing sector is expected to reach 48.1 this month, hovering above the earlier estimate of 48.7.

The PMI is an index that measures the health of a country's manufacturing sector. A reading of 50 or above represents an expansion of the sector from the previous month, while a reading below the figure represents a contraction.

The South Korean stock market, however, gathered ground later in the week as investors remained confident over an economic recovery in the U.S.

While the prolonged political uncertainties in Ukraine limited the market's growth with the U.S. implying a possible sanction on Russia, some investors still believed the Russian market was not significant enough to change the course of the global economic recovery trend.

Weekly foreign buying came to a net 270 billion won (US$252.6 million), while individuals offloaded a net 630 billion won. Institutions scooped up a net 295 billion won.

Analysts said the local stock market is anticipated to gather ground but in a narrow range next week as investors will remain uncertain over a series of events.

China is set to announce its PMI for March next week, with the European Central Bank's policy-setting meeting slated for Thursday.

The U.S. jobs data will also be released on Friday.

"Samsung Electronics Co., which will also release its first-quarter guidance on Friday, is expected to show figures that meet the market's expectations," added Jennifer Lee, a researcher at KDB Daewoo Securities Co., adding its smartphone sales will remain healthy.

Mobile carriers added 4.2 percent, and carmakers advanced 3.7 percent this week, while utilities moved down 0.8 percent.