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Seoul stocks likely to remain choppy next week on inflationary woes

Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show Kospi closed at 3,012.95 on Friday, down 86.74 points or 2.8 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)
Electronic signboards at a Hana Bank dealing room in Seoul show Kospi closed at 3,012.95 on Friday, down 86.74 points or 2.8 percent from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)

South Korean stocks are likely to face choppy trading next week following this week's highly volatile trading, as concerns about a US Treasury yields hike may continue to fuel heavy selling by foreign investors here.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 3,012.95 points Friday, down 3.05 percent from a week ago.

Foreigners dumped a net 2.1 trillion won ($1.9 billion) at the main bourse this week as the yields of benchmark 10-year US Treasury fueled inflation worries.

On Friday, the KOSPI dipped 3.5 percent -- the largest daily plunge in six months -- despite the Federal Reserve chief's calming comments that the world's largest economy would need at least three years to recover from the pandemic, signaling that low rates are likely to remain in place.

Analysts said the inflation woes would continue to roil the financial markets locally and globally next week.

"The bond yields hike is the stock markets' biggest risk at this point, but at the same time, it is noteworthy that the (corporate) earnings momentum is also growing fast," NH Investment & Securities analyst Kim Young-hwan said.

"Such an increase in the expected inflation hike is likely to push up the exports to the US," he said.

South Korea's February exports data will be released Monday.

The country's stock market will be closed that day for the March 1 Independence Movement holiday. (Yonhap)
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