South Korean stocks are expected to gather ground next week as worries about a weakening Chinese economy eased on positive economic data from Beijing, analysts said.
The country's key stock index, the KOSPI, sank 1.9 percent this week to close at 1,880.71 on Friday. The index was trapped in a streak of rangebound sessions this week due to the absence of fresh leads to fuel the market.
The local stock market started off lower as the U.S. government overturned a ruling on a ban on imports of Apple Inc's older models, dealing a blow to Samsung Electronics. The South Korean market bellwether suffered a 5.37 percent fall over the last four trading days until it made a 1.07 percent rebound on Friday.
A spate of remarks from U.S. federal bankers saying the stimulus cut will happen one way or another also dented investor sentiment, driving down the KOSPI to below the 1,880 mark.
This week, foreigners dumped about a net 400 billion won on the main bourse, with retail and institutional investors scooping up a combined 660 billion won.
Food makers and telecom stocks were the biggest decliners, losing 3.8 percent and 3.7 percent each, while pharmaceuticals and state-run power providers finished bullish with a 1.3 percent and 0.8 percent gain.
Next week, the main bourse will likely move upwards on eased fears over a hard-landing of the Chinese economy, as Beijing reported forecast-beating export figures for July.
"Concerns on a shrinking Chinese economy have been lifted after exports turned out better than expected," said Han Chi-hwan, an analyst at KDB Securities Co.
Beijing said this week its exports grew 5.1 percent on-year in July after a 3.7 percent on-year in June, beating the market consensus of 2-percent expansion.
The IT sector is projected to lend support to the KOSPI's gain next week on growing momentum from attractive valuations, Han added.