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Stock market volatility hits 5-month high in Jan.

All News 09:11 January 19, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's stock market has been on a rollercoaster ride in the new year due to unfavorable external conditions and concerns over corporate earnings, with its volatility hitting a five-year high, data showed Tuesday.

The daily volatility of the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) came in at 1.38 percent this year until Monday, far higher than last year's monthly average of 0.94 percent, according to the data compiled by the Korea Exchange (KRX).

It is also highest since August 2015, when the figure stood at 1.52 percent in the aftermath of China's stock market rout.

On Friday, the intraday volatility surged to 2.37 percent, with the difference between the daily high and the daily low coming to 44.95 points, after the KOSPI sank 1.1 percent to hit a five-month low of 1878.87 due mainly to heavy losses in the Chinese equity market.

The Friday figure is the highest level since Sept. 30, 2015, when it came to 2.47 percent, according to the KRX.

"The local market will likely remain volatile this week on continued woes over the stock market in China and ahead of key economic data," said Kim Ji-hyung, an analyst at Hanyang Securities.

The KOSPI will come under downward pressure for the time being, as investors are nervously awaiting Chinese GDP and industrial output due later in the day and the U.S. Fed's FOMC meeting next week.

"Adding to concerns are worse-than-anticipated earnings by local industry leaders," Hyundai Securities expert Kwak Byung-ryeol said. Fourth quarter earnings are set to be released this week.

"But the further fall will be limited, as local shares have been oversold and such risk factors have been well priced in so far," he noted.


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