South Korean stocks are expected to move in a tight range next week ahead of key events, including a release of Chinese economic data, analysts said Saturday.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index rose 10.73 points this week to close at 1,930.26 on Friday.
Throughout the week, the index swerved in and out of positive territory on rising concerns about a Chinese economic slowdown ahead of the corporate earnings season.
This week, KOSPI started bullish on news that a Fed official hinted at a further delay of a possible U.S. interest rate hike.
But worse-than-expected Chinese economic data dragged down the main index as investors feared that the world's second-largest economy might have already entered a downward cycle.
On Thursday, the KOSPI hit a nearly three-month high on rising hopes for fresh economy-boosting measures by the Chinese government and the delayed timing of a higher U.S. interest rate.
Analysts said investors will wait for the outcome of China's gross domestic product growth for the third quarter on Monday.
Market watchers forecast that the Chinese economy will expand 6.8 percent from a year ago, down from a 7 percent growth in the second quarter.
"If China's data fails to meet the market consensus, the Chinese government will come up with additional measures to prop up the economy," said Ko Seung-hee, an analyst from KDB Daewoo Securities Co.
Investors will bear in mind that China's September imports plunged more than 20 percent, far missing the market forecast, added the analyst.
U.S. real estate indices, including September home sales, and Japan's September trade data will also catch their attention.
In South Korea, companies will start releasing their quarterly reports next week, with leading steelmaker POSCO and chipmaker SK hynix coming on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. (Yonhap)