SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Yonhap) — South Korean retail investors pared down their net buying of local stocks in February as the country’s key stock index traded in a tight range following a bull run, data showed Sunday.
Retail investors snapped up a net 5.8 trillion won (US$5.24 billion) worth of stocks on the main and secondary markets during 13 trading sessions ending on Feb. 19, compared with a net purchase of 25.8 trillion won in January, according to the bourse operator Korea Exchange.
Compared with a month earlier, their net stock purchases declined from a net 14.2 trillion won, the data showed.
Analysts said retail investors took a breather this month as the key stock index traded in a tight range.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) jumped 30 percent last year on the back of retail investors’ buying spree. It closed above the 3,000-point mark for the first time on Jan. 7.
Since the KOSPI soared above 3,200 points in late January, it has retreated below the mark and traded in a narrow range.
“Retail investors turned to a wait-and-see mode as the KOSPI failed to breach 3,200 points,” Choi Yoo-june, an analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp., said. “Since mid-January, foreign investors’ influence has increased on the local stock market.”