KOSPI likely to move in tight range next week on policy uncertainties

SEOUL, South Korea's benchmark stock index is likely to move in a tight range next week, although volatility may increase due to policy uncertainties, analysts said.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,969.27 points Friday, nearly unchanged from 2,970.68 points a week ago.

The KOSPI fluctuated as investors waited and digested the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting results, particularly its stance over potential rate hikes.

According to the FOMC meeting results, the U.S. central bank would be "patient" before hiking the benchmark interest rate, while starting to taper its asset-buying program this month as planned.

In the coming week, analysts expected stock prices to be affected by uncertainties related to the presidential race.

"The ruling Democratic Party (DP) is pushing environment-friendly projects, while the main opposition People Power Party (PPP) has supported digital, construction and nuclear energy sectors," said NH Investment & Securities analyst Kim Young-hwan.

Friday, former Prosecutor General Yoon Seok-youl won the presidential nomination of the PPP. He will compete against his DP counterpart Lee Jae-myung.

In addition, Kim said the KOSPI might need more time to break away from the current 3,000-point range.

Next week, a flurry of third-quarter earnings reports by market heavyweights are coming up.

Food giant CJ Cheiljedang will publish earnings for the July-September period on Monday.

Leading mobile carrier KT will post its earnings on Tuesday, with its rival SK Telecom's earnings report coming on Wednesday.

Leading game publishers NCSoft and Krafton are set to release theirs on Thursday.

Source: Yonhap News Agency