South Korean shares are expected to find little upward momentum next week due to increased uncertainties following the cancellation of the U.S.-North Korea summit and growing protectionism tendencies by the world's No. 1 economy, local market watchers predicted on Saturday.
Analysts said the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) may fall to 2,420 in the coming week after inching up to end at 2,460.80 on Friday. On May 18, the local bourse stood at 2,460.65.
"Next week, growing uncertainties surrounding the Korean peninsula following the abrupt summit cancellation late Thursday and the U.S. government's move to impose 25 percent tariffs on imported vehicles are likely to weigh on the market," Daishin Securities analyst Park Choon-young said by phone.
The brokerage put the range for the following five sessions at 2,420-2,480.
On Friday, construction stocks related to inter-Korean economic cooperation fell sharply. Hyundai Engineering & Construction plunged 9.78 percent to 60,900 won and Kumho Engineering & Construction declined 12.09 percent to 12,000 won on the news of the summit cancellation.
On the same day, top carmaker Hyundai Motor fell 0.71 percent to 139,000 won, and its affiliate Kia Motors declined 1.38 percent to 32,250 won.
Foreign buying of technology shares helped offset the declines by builders. Market bellwether Samsung Electronics jumped 2.53 percent to 52,700 won, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix climbed 0.63 percent to 95,200 won.
On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced he was calling off the June 12 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, citing the latter's "tremendous anger and open hostility."
The cancellation came just hours after the North demolished its nuclear test site in front of international journalists. (Yonhap)