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Seoul stocks set for further gains this week, stimulus packages in focus


South Korean stocks have room to rise further this week, helped by ample liquidity and expectations that the US stimulus package is nearing a deal.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 2,351.67 points on Friday, up 4.55 percent from 2,249.37 points a week ago.

The last session marked the highest reading in nearly two years since Sept. 27, 2018.

The index gained every session this week, largely on US stimulus hopes and estimate-beating earnings by Kakao, SK Telecom and other large caps.

Retail investors raked in a net 2 trillion won worth of local stocks from the KOSPI market Monday through Friday.

Local analysts mostly expected the KOSPI to continue to climb this week, despite investor worries that the high price-earnings ratio (PER) may peg the index's further hike.

"The PER multiples are likely to remain high throughout the year, as the stimulus measures in major economies are expected to last for a considerable while," KTB Investment & Securities analyst Park Seok-hyun said.

Among key data set to be released this week, South Korea will announce the July unemployment rate on Wednesday.

China's July retail sales and the eurozone's gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter are set to be released on Friday (Korea time). (Yonhap)