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Seoul stocks set to extend losses next week amid virus woes: analysts

All News 10:00 April 25, 2020

SEOUL, April 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks are expected to fall further next week amid concerns over the prolonged economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak and an antiviral drug's disappointing clinical results, analysts said Saturday.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 25.72 points, or 1.34 percent, to 1,889.01 on Friday. The main index shed 1.3 percent this week amid deepening virus woes.

This week, foreigners sold a net 1.4 trillion won (US$1.1 billion) worth of local stocks and institutions offloaded 1.3 trillion won worth of stocks. But individuals bought 2.6 trillion won worth of stocks.

Analysts said the KOSPI may fall to the 1,850-point level next week as U.S. consumption and investment data for April are expected to be weak and Gilead Sciences Inc.'s antiviral drug remdesivir may end up failing.

"First-quarter corporate earnings results were definitely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the real concern for investors is second-quarter business results, in case of an extended coronavirus outbreak through June," Noh Dong-kil, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co., said.

This week, major chipmaker SK hynix Inc. posted a 41 percent on-year drop in first-quarter net profit at 649.1 billion won. Hyundai Motor Co.'s net profit plunged 42 percent on-year to 552.7 billion won in the first quarter.

Their earnings results were better than expected, but concerns over a further slump may limit a rise in the local stock market.

"Investors are shifting their focus to earnings outlooks of major exporters, such as Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor, for the second quarter," he said.

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