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Main bourse volatility lowest in world in 2016

The volatility of South Korea's main stock index has ranked the lowest among major economies this year, data showed Friday, as the market remains range-bound due to a cavalcade of negatives at home and abroad.

The volatility of the benchmark KOSPI's monthly rate of return came to 1.87 this year, the lowest level among the stock indexes of 17 major countries, according to the data by the Korea Exchange and Shinhan Investment Corp.

South Korea lagged far behind other emerging markets, with the number for China reaching 8.45. Comparable figures were 8.38 for Brazil, 5.09 for Russia and 4.94 for India.

A small number indicates that a stock market has neither risen nor fallen greatly. The key index has long remained in a range of 1,800-2,000 this year.

The main stock market's lack of vitality is vindicated by a plunge in trading volume and turnover. The cumulative trading volume tumbled 20 percent on-year to 904 million shares as of Dec.

20, with the turnover sinking 18 percent to 1,091 trillion won ($910 billion).

With the bourse losing momentum, the benchmark index has posted a poor return. The KOSPI's yearly rate of return stood at 3.7 percent this year, 11th-highest among the 17 nations.

Russia recorded the highest return rate of 50.7 percent, followed by Brazil with 32.9 percent, Vietnam with 14.9 percent, Britain with 12.8 percent and the United States with 10.8 percent.

Jang Yu-jin, an analyst at Shinhan Investment, attributed the KOSPI's low return rate to a rash of negative factors.

"South Korea's stock market has been negatively impacted by Brexit, Samsung Electronics Co.'s recall and discontinuation of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone and Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election, with the key index failing to break through the 2,100 level." (Yonhap)