After nearing the 2,200 level last month, the KOSPI slipped to the 2,120 level last week as the geopolitical risk surrounding the Korean Peninsula, ignited by North Korea's nuclear threat, has frozen investment sentiment here in South Korea.
Market experts, who looked forward to the KOSPI to break through the box trading pattern that lasted for six years this year, expected the index to take a breath for the time being.
They, however, expected the index to take an upturn again if external uncertainties are removed, particularly considering that the profitability of listed companies greatly improved last year and they are estimated to have achieved record-breaking performance in the first quarter of this year.
According to financial information provider FnGuide, the combined first-quarter operating profit of the KOSPI firms are estimated to reach an all-time high at 43.8 trillion won, exceeding the previous record of 41.08 trillion won set in the second quarter of 2016. This figure is up 15.6 percent from 37.9 trillion won a year ago.