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Seoul shares expected to move in tight range

South Korean stocks are forecast to move in a tight range next week as fiscal debt problems in Europe and the United States will weigh on investor sentiment, analysts here said Saturday.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index closed at 1,839.17 on Friday, down 1.27 percent from a week earlier.

The market suffered ups and downs throughout the week, affected by news coming from the debt-ridden eurozone economy.

Foreign investors sold a net 595.9 billion won ($523.2 million) worth of stocks here, leading the market downswing. Institutional investors sold 48.4 billion won worth of stocks, while individuals bought shares worth 631.2 billion won in net value.

For the next week, investors will pay close attention to what decision a U.S. Congressional committee makes on cutting the country’s debt next decade.

If it fails to come up with an acceptable debt-reducing plan by its Wednesday deadline, analysts worry that global uncertainties will grow further.

The eurozone’s debt problems still linger on the minds of many investors.

Rising borrowing costs and a lack of policy coordination between European countries to resolve debt problems could weigh on investor sentiment, analysts noted.

“For the market to bounce back next week, it will be critical to see improvements in market conditions in Europe,” said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at Daewoo Securities Co. 

(Yonhap News)