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Seoul shares to trade in tight range this week on trade woes

All Headlines 13:14 September 22, 2019

SEOUL, Sept. 22 (Yonhap) -- Seoul stocks are expected to trade in a tight range this week as the United States and China appear to have a long way to go to make a compromise in their yearlong trade tussle, analysts said Sunday.

On Friday and Saturday (U.S. time), working-level officials from the U.S. and China met in Washington, D.C. ahead of a new round of trade talks next month, but they failed to come up with any positive news.

During a press conference with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Washington on Friday (local time), President Donald Trump said he is looking for a complete deal, not a partial one and doesn't feel he needs to secure an agreement before next year's election.

His comments will weigh on investor sentiment in the coming week, analysts said.

"Heightened expectations of progress in the upcoming U.S.-China trade talks have now sharply weakened. This week, investors will also keep a close eye on economic data in the U.S. and Eurozone to get clues for future rate moves," Kiwoom Securities analyst Suh Sang-young said.

On Friday, the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 0.54 percent to close at 2,091.52. The main index gained 2.1 percent in the past week helped by hopes of progress in a yearlong trade war between the world's two largest economies.

Last week, foreigners and institutions bought a combined 562 billion won (US$473 million) worth of stocks, offsetting individuals' stock selling valued at 554 billion won.

Chipmakers were the main gainers due to rising chip demand and declining stockpiles of dynamic random access memory and NAND flash memory chips, mainly used in computers and smartphones to process and store data.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics advanced 4.3 percent to 49,200 won in the past week.

Brokerages forecast the KOSPI index to fall to the psychologically important 2,000-point level this week amid global trade woes.

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