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Seoul shares likely to further advance next week; vaccinations in focus

All News 10:00 December 12, 2020

By Chung Joo-won

SEOUL, Dec. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks are likely to further rise next week despite some correction, as investors pin high hopes on a quick economic recovery from the pandemic's fallout.

Despite a surge in new daily COVID-19 cases, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at an all-time high of 2,770.06 points Friday, up 1.41 percent from a week ago.

The KOSPI moved like roller coaster on vaccination reports, rising more than 2 percent Wednesday on the world's first mass COVID-19 vaccination in Britain. The index retreated Thursday as two British patients reported allergic responses but rallied again Friday on a U.S. government advisory panel's backing of emergency vaccinations in the United States.

Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,770.06 on Dec. 11, 2020, up 23.6 points or 0.86 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

Thursday's quadruple expiration of stock-related futures and options also added to the market volatility. Foreigners dumped about 1.3 trillion won (US$11.9 billion) on the main bourse in a single day.

Analysts said the vaccine factor will continue to sway the local stocks in the coming week.

"Growing vaccine hopes are expected to improve investor sentiment," said NH Investment & Securities analyst Kim Young-hwan.

But volatility may increase if side effects are observed in the vaccinations, he added.

Analysts also noted that the upcoming U.S. Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, set for Tuesday and Wednesday (U.S. time), could affect the local stock market.

"Although market consensus is widely expecting a key rate freeze, FOMC's economic diagnosis could signal potential increases in its asset buying policies," said Lim Hye-yoon, a researcher at KTB Investment & Securities.


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