By Chung Joo-won
SEOUL, Oct. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korean stocks are likely to move in a tight range next week as investors weigh the outlook for third-quarter corporate earnings and the Federal Reserve's signal over tapering of its timeline for stimulus, analysts said Saturday.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed at 3,015.06 points Friday, up 2 percent from a week ago. The Korean stock market closed Monday for an extended holiday.
The KOSPI's weekly gain came as local tech stocks rallied on Washington's move to relieve the supply-chain bottleneck.
The volatility in the currency market stabilized in the latter half of the week despite the global energy crunch, largely on the Bank of Korea's efforts.
South Korea's corporate earnings report season for the July-September period kicked off late last week with KOSPI top cap Samsung Electronics Co.'s earnings guidance.
Analysts expected strong performance by listed firms but said investors are worried that their earnings might wane after the peak.
"We are expecting record earnings by the KOSPI firms in the third quarter, but the consensus for their operating profit for the fourth quarter in 2021 and the first quarter in 2022 were revised down by 0.2 percent and 1.4 percent," NH Investment & Securities analyst Kim Young-hwan said.
"The market concerns about earnings peak-out are posing risks in the (local stock prices), in addition to the worries about the U.S. Fed's rollback of its stimulus," he added.
Kim said investors will closely follow inflation gauges that could influence the Fed's economic diagnosis.
Next week, a handful of KOSPI heavyweights are set to release their quarterly earnings.
Naver Corp. will publish its earnings on Thursday.
Hyundai Mobis Co., Hana Financial Group Inc., Hyundai Steel Co. and Hotel Shilla Co. will release their earnings on Friday.