Seoul shares seen rangebound; options expiries eyed

Wed Jan 9, 2013 6:34pm EST

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SEOUL, Jan 10 (Reuters) - South Korean stocks are likely to
trade in a narrow range on Thursday despite Wall Street gains,
with concerns about corporate earnings persisting and options
expiries likely to weigh on the market.
    "Shares will be rangebound as positive news outweighs
concerns about companies' fourth-quarter earnings. I don't rule
out the possibility of investors dumping shares as options
expire today," said Kim Soo-young, an analyst at KB Investment &
Securities.
    Seoul shares, which had rallied to a nine-month peak on Jan.
2 on a U.S. fiscal deal, fell for a fifth straight session on
Wednesday as investors turned their focus to the subdued
corporate earnings outlook.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index closed down
0.31 percent at 1,991.81 points on Wednesday.   
--------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 2245 GMT --------------
                    INSTRUMENT   LAST       PCT CHG   NET CHG
S&P 500                   1461.02      0.27%     3.870
USD/JPY                   88.05         0.2%     0.180
10-YR US TSY YLD     1.8604          --    -0.003
SPOT GOLD                 1657.13     -0.01%    -0.160
US CRUDE                  93.1         0.00%     0.000
DOW JONES                 13390.51     0.46%     61.66
ASIA ADRS                133.47       1.15%      1.52
-------------------------------------------------------------
>Wall Street rises after Alcoa reports earnings     
>Prices near flat as gov't debt ceiling debate looms 
>Yen drops vs dollar,euro on BoJ policy predictions 
>Oil slips following big U.S. gasoline stock build  
                                                                
 
---STOCKS TO WATCH---
    
    **KOREA ELECTRIC POWER CORP (KEPCO), POSCO
, HYUNDAI STEEL **
    South Korea will raise electricity prices by an average 4
percent from next week, continuing its efforts to reduce power
demand and help the state-run power supplier cut losses.
 
   Electricity prices will be raised by 4.4 percent for
industrial users, 2.0 percent for households and 3.5 percent for
educational facilities, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said
in a statement on Wednesday.
    
    **SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS **
    The electronics giant is looking to supply chips to more
Chinese and other emerging smartphone makers, the head of its
system chip business told Reuters, to counter any fall-off in
demand from Apple Inc, which is weaning itself off
Samsung chips used in its iPhones and iPads. 
     
    **SSANGYONG MOTOR **
    India's Mahindra & Mahindra will invest $900
million over the next four years in products to be developed
jointly with its South Korean unit Ssangyong Motor Co Ltd,
Mahindra's automotive president said on Wednesday.
 
     
    **HYUNDAI ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION **
    Five consortiums including companies from Brazil, China,
South Korea, Spain and France have presented bids to build two
hydroelectric power stations in southern Argentina requiring an
investment of $5 billion, the government said on Wednesday. [ID:
nL1E9C99EK]
    Bidders include South Korea's Hyundai Engineering and
Construction Argentina's planning ministry said. 

 (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Eric Meijer)
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