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Seoul bourse to stay subdued next week on oil rout, emerging markets

South Korean stocks may remain subdued next week, weighed down by slumping global commodity prices and risks stemming from emerging economies, analysts said.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 1,961.31 on Thursday, the last trading day of this year, down 1.47 percent from a week earlier.

The market got off to a weak start this week as Samsung Group affiliates lost ground after the country's regulator ordered them to resolve the complicated cross-shareholding structure inside the group.

Institutions led the downward trend.

They dumped a net 282.23 billion won (US$240.7 million) worth of shares, while retail investors picked up 229.74 billion won. On Tuesday, in particular, institutions locked in profits from dividend-oriented shares which rose in recent days before the right to receive dividends expired.

Telecoms, banking and steel companies were among the poorest performers this week.

Analysts say that the market mood will likely remain dull next week as investors will take a cautionary stance amid protracted low oil and other commodity prices along with risks from emerging markets.

"Falling global commodity prices and emerging market risks will likely serve as a drag on the KOSPI. In particular, foreign investors' net selling trend is expected to continue."

The U.S. is to announce major manufacturing and job-related indexes next week, but Koh said they would not be strong enough to create optimism, citing low crude oil prices hitting energy companies and prompting an industry-wide cut in employment. (Yonhap)

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