Seoul shares are expected to move in a tight range next week as investors remain guarded amid the rising odds of Federal Reserve's interest rate hike and uncertainties over the U.S. tax reform plan, analysts said Saturday.
The benchmark Korea composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,533.99 points on Friday, down 0.35 percent from a week ago.
The index retreated four sessions on uncertainties over U.S. corporate tax cuts and fluctuating oil prices, which was driven by rising productions in the world's No. 1 economy.
Foreign investors drove up the market on Thursday as South Korea and Canada signed a currency swap deal, but the rally was short lived.
The Korean won advanced for four consecutive days to close at 1,097.5 won against the U.S. dollar on Friday, rising to the highest level since September 2016. The stronger local currency dragged down auto shares on concerns of weaker price competitiveness on the global market.
Securities and bio shares were among the top gainers, while the construction and steel sectors were at bottom.
Analysts forecast the KOSPI would remain safely over 2,500 points in the coming week in tandem with bright economic prospects on robust exports.
"Rising retail sales during Black Friday in the U.S. and improved ties with China are positive factors for local stocks in the coming week," Kim Byung-yeon, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said. "But uncertainties over the U.S. tax reform efforts and fluctuating crude prices could weigh on market sentiment."
Investors will be watching remarks from central banks in advanced economies to figure out the direction of their monetary policies.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is set to speak to the European parliamentary committee on Tuesday and U.S. Federal Reserve will release the minutes from its October policy meeting on Wednesday.
South Korea will announce its latest manufacturing data on Monday and the consumer sentiment index on Friday. (Yonhap)