Seoul shares extend two-month high after Fed stimulus
* Samsung Elec hits new lifetime high
* LG Elec weighed by EU fine worries
* Foreigners buy for 11th straight session
By Somang Yang
SEOUL, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Seoul shares rose to a fresh two-month high on Thursday morning amid broad-based gains after the U.S. Federal Reserve ramped up monetary stimulus and set clear policy guidelines.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ticked 0.4 percent higher to 1,983.66 points by 0138 GMT. The index is nearing the psychologically important 2,000-mark last touched in early October.
"The Fed's easing measures met the market's expectations, while the setting of clear inflation and unemployment targets exceeded hopes and will clear uncertainty on the monetary front," said Kim Yong-goo, an analyst at Samsung Securities.
The Federal Reserve ramped up its monetary stimulus and said it would keep benchmark U.S. interest rates near zero until the jobless rate falls sharply.
Some 415 stocks advanced across the index while 284 declined.
Shares in Samsung Electronics hit a new life-time high of 1.508 million won during early trade on expectations of strong earnings fuelled by its mobile business. The index heavyweight was trading 1.2 percent higher.
However, other large IT shares declined, with LG Electronics falling 1.5 percent.
"LG Electronics will have to set aside cash for the EU fines, which puts pressure on its profit margin," said Lee Sun-tae, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities.
The European Commission on December 5th imposed the biggest antitrust penalty in its history on LG Electronics and five others for running two cartels for nearly a decade.
LG Electronics may have to pay more than 295.6 million euros. The company said it plans to appeal the ruling.
Apple Inc suppliers SK Hynix and LG Display were also down slightly, although Lee said this was for cyclical and profit-taking reasons.
Among small caps, Tongyang Inc and affiliate Tongyang Networks Corp rose by the daily permissible limit of 15 percent on hopes for a corporate restructuring.
Foreigners bought a net 128 billion won worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session, buying for the eleventh straight session and insulating the index from selling by retail investors.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.5 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.7 percent higher. ($1 = 1075.0000 Korean won) (Editing by Richard Pullin)
- North Korea says Kim's powerful uncle dismissed for 'criminal acts'
- Thai PM calls snap election, protesters press on
- Protesters fell Lenin statue, tell Ukraine's president 'you're next'
- Billy Joel, Shirley MacLaine feted at Kennedy Center Honors
- Singapore hit by rare outbreak of rioting, 27 arrested |