Seoul shares steady at 7-week-high; LG Elec, Samsung SDI fall

Wed Dec 5, 2012 9:08pm EST

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* U.S. fiscal wrangling keeps investors at bay

* Samsung Electronics eases from life-time high

SEOUL Dec 6 (Reuters) - Seoul shares inched up to a nearly seven-week intraday high on Thursday morning, supported by remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama that renewed hopes for a fiscal deal to avert a U.S. recession.

But investors held back from making aggressive bets, as political wrangling continued over a deal to avert a U.S. "fiscal cliff" - a combination of U.S. government spending cuts and tax rises due to take effect in early 2013.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) edged up 0.04 percent to 1,947.82 points as of 0147 GMT. The KOPSI has been trading above its 20-day moving average since Nov. 22, indicating a positive market trend.

"The market is struggling to rise sharply, weighed down by concerns about an uphill political battle to reach a U.S. fiscal deal," said Lee Kyeong-soo, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities.

Obama predicted on Wednesday a "fiscal cliff" deal could be reached in a week if his opponents would compromise on taxes.

LG Electronics Inc and Samsung SDI Co Ltd slumped more than 4 percent after the European Commision imposed its biggest antitrust fine of 1.47 billion euros ($1.92 billion) on the two Korean firms and four others for running two cartels on cathode ray tubes.

The shipbuilding sector and energy/chemicals issues outperformed. Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd gained 3.9 percent, while Hanwha Chemical Corp firmed 3.3 percent.

Index heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd eased 1.2 percent to 1.437 million won after hitting a fresh intraday high of 1.471 million won ($1,400) earlier in the session.($1 = 1081.6250 Korean won) (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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