South Korean shares are expected to move in a limited range with little or no upward momentum amid lingering concerns over escalating trade tension between the United States and China, analysts said Saturday.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,294.99 on Friday, up 0.25 percent from a week ago.
Investors focused on a batch of second-quarter earnings from major companies, including Hyundai Motor, SK hynix and POSCO, while keeping eye on the global trade tension to gauge its impact on the export-oriented Korean economy.
The index started on a weak note Monday but rebounded later in the week after the United States and the European Union reached an agreement to lower trade barriers between the two major economies.
The ceasefire in the transatlantic trade war, however, raised concerns that the Trump administration may zero in on its trade spat with Beijing, limiting gains on the stock market on Friday.
Steel, machinery and construction were among the biggest gainers, while bio and tech shares lost out.
Next week, investors will closely watch economic data from the U.S. and the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting slated for Thursday and Friday.
On Wednesday, South Korea is set to release July's consumer price index and export data.
Analysts expect the KOSPI to move between 2,250 and 2,330 in the coming week, with trading muted by people across the country taking vacations.
"Purchases of undervalued stocks and hopes for detailed plans for North Korea's denuclearization could boost investor sentiment," Kim Byung-yeon, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities, said. "However, the downward adjustment for the second-quarter earnings and escalating trade tension between the U.S. and China could weigh on the market." (Yonhap)