SEOUL, Jan. 1 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean stocks are expected to gather ground next week as an optimistic mood from solid U.S. consumer spending during the end-of-the-year holiday season and other factors will likely whet investor appetite for risky assets.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,977.65 on Thursday, the last trading day for this year, down 0.68 percent from last Friday.
The stocks moved in a tight range amid a lack of fresh leads as investors took to the sidelines on the final week of the year.
A fairly positive start can be expected next week, as investors will likely be motivated to increase bets on risky assets on the back of robust holiday spending around the end-December period.
“That also raises the prospects for South Korea’s robust exports and fourth-quarter earnings,” Han Ji-young, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co., said.
A strong dollar is expected for some time as the U.S. Federal Reserve’s clear indication of its path toward a monetary tightening erased market uncertainties, another factor that could attract foreigners to Seoul stocks, Han said.
Downside risks still remain, such as the persistent global wave of the omicron coronavirus variant and the tensions between the United States and Russia over the latter’s military buildup on the border with Ukraine, analysts said.
Another point to watch will be the fate of the nearly US$2 trillion U.S. stimulus bill put forward by the Joe Biden administration that has yet to pass the Senate.
This week, foreigners scooped up a net 161.5 billion won worth of local equities on the Seoul main bourse, with individual investors also buying a net 263.6 billion won. Institutional investors offloaded a net 541.4 billion won.
By sector, textiles finished up 4.68 percent and machineries rose 3.19 percent, while financial stocks and construction companies fell about 2.6 percent and 1 percent, respectively.