The Korea Herald


Seoul shares forecast to seesaw amid global uncertainties

By 원호정

Published : Sept. 5, 2015 - 10:16

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SEOUL, Sept. 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks are expected to move in a wide range next week as investors await key economic data from the United States and China for clues over their impact on the global financial market, analysts said Saturday.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 2.6 percent this week to close at 1,886.04 on Friday.

Trading volume was light as investors took to the sidelines following a wild ride in the previous week, responding to mixed data from the world's two largest economies as lingering uncertainties over the U.S. interest rate policy and China's economy sapped appetite for risky assets.

Foreigners were net sellers for the 22nd consecutive session on Friday, marking the third-longest selling run. Retail investors picked up recently-battered stocks, but failed to turn the tide.    

Tech and telecommunications made the biggest weekly gainers, while bio and securities were the largest losers. 

"The poor manufacturing data in the United States and China have put downside risk on the global stock market, which also drove down South Korea's export in August," Park Hee-chan, a researcher at Mirae Asset Securities, said. "Foreigners are selling shares in emerging markets due to the double whammy of a slow growth in China and Federal Reserve's impending interest rate hike."

Investors will await China's August trade data, slated for Tuesday, to gauge its implication on the global economy. The U.S. consumer sentiment index by the University of Michigan due on Friday will suggest whether its economy is on a firm footing to allow Federal Reserve to raise the key rate as early as this month. 

At home, the Bank of Korea (BOK) holds the key rate-setting meeting on Friday, with the market consensus leaning toward a rate freeze.

"The BOK is expected to keep the base rate steady for September, but investors will closely monitor the central bank chief's comment on the current economic situation to get hints of whether there will be another cut in the fourth quarter," Park said.