Trading of South Korean shares is likely to remain subdued next week amid growing economic concerns, analysts said Saturday.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,179.31 points on Friday, down 1.6 percent from a week ago.
Earlier this week, Seoul shares remained flat as investors took to the sidelines awaiting earnings reports from major firms.
On Wednesday, the shares sharply lost ground as major tech firms, including SK hynix, came under strong selling pressure.
Shares continued to lose ground on growing concerns over a slowdown in Asia's fourth-largest economy. The central bank estimated that the economy contracted 0.3 percent in the first quarter, the worst performance in a decade.
Next week, the local stock market is expected to remain sluggish, reeling from aftershocks from the weak economic data.
South Korea is also set to unveil its April export data next week, which may also be not good. Samsung Electronics, the top market cap, is scheduled to report its first-quarter earnings next week.
"Concerns over the fundamental health of the South Korean economy are rising due to the weak GDP growth," Kim Byong-yeon, a researcher at NH Investment & Securities Co., said.
Foreigners sold a net 18.6 billion won (US$16 million) this week, while retail investors bought a net 70 billion won. Institutions sold more shares than they bought at 50.2 billion won.
Technology firms, pharmaceuticals and steelmakers were among major losers this week, while insurance firms gained ground. (Yonhap)