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Seoul shares to remain range-bound next week

South Korean stocks will likely remain in a tight range next week as investors are forecast to take the sidelines ahead of events such as the announcement of next year's economy policy plan, analysts said Saturday.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index lost 0.31 percent this week to end at 2,035.90 points on Friday.

"The KOSPI is expected to stay between 2,020 and 2,060 points next week," said Kim Yong-koo, a Hana Financial Investment analyst. Next Friday marks this year's last session of the country's stock trading.

Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn is set to deliver the government's economy policy plan for 2017 on Thursday. It will marks a rare occasion for a prime minister to make the announcement, which is usually delivered by the finance minister.

Market watchers forecast Samsung Electronics, the country's top market cap, may stay in positive terrain on an upbeat belief that the tech company could pull off market forecast-beating earnings for the fourth quarter of the year.   

Samsung closed at 1,812,000 won to hit a fresh record high on Tuesday, although it lost ground following the two consecutive sessions.

"Samsung's earnings in the fourth quarter are expected to hover around 8.5 trillion won, higher than the market consensus," said Park Yoo-ak, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities.

(Yonhap)

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