By Chung Joo-won
SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks are likely to further climb next week as retail investors are likely to continue to flock to the market on expectations of a further rise, offsetting downside pressure.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 3,140.63 points Friday, up 1.77 percent from a week ago.
Individuals continued to buy despite rising valuation pressure, outpacing institution's profit-taking rush that came amid the global stock rallies over the U.S. presidential inauguration.
They bought a net 2.5 trillion won (US$1.9 billion) worth of stocks this week, while institutions and foreigners dumped a combined 2.6 trillion won.
Analysts said strong individual buying is likely to help push the key stock index up further next week.
They also said the KOSPI may break the 3,150-point threshold, aided by a slowdown in local COVID-19 cases and partially eased social distancing measures, in addition to the $1.9 trillion U.S. economic relief package.
"The valuation pressure of growth shares remains a key factor resisting the KOSPI's further gains," said NH Investment & Securities analyst Kim Young-hwan.
"Local (COVID-19) vaccinations starting in February are also expected to help improve corporate earnings down the road," he added.
On Tuesday, South Korea is scheduled to publish preliminary data for the quarterly gross domestic product in October-December last year.
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