Seoul shares seen subdued on earnings, smartphone demand worries

Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:45pm EST

SEOUL, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Seoul shares are likely to hover
around current levels on Wednesday on lingering concerns about
corporate earnings and demand for smartphones, despite
better-than-expected economic data from the United States. 
    "There's no real momentum in the market before China's
fourth-quarter GDP figures on Friday, so shares are likely to
coast, with individual stocks aligning with earnings
expectations," said Kim Sung-hwan, an analyst at Bookook
Securities. 
    Japan's Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday that Apple
Inc has asked suppliers to roughly halve supplies of
LCD panels for the January-March period from initial plans,
sending shares in tech stocks and suppliers lower in South
Korea, Japan and the United States. 
 
    U.S. stocks rebounded in a late-day rally after data showed
retail sales in December increased 0.5 percent, following a 0.4
percent rise the prior month, beating economists' expectations
for a gain of only 0.2 percent. 
    Foreign selling helped push the Korea Composite Stock Price
Index (KOSPI) down 1.2 percent on Tuesday to 1,983.74 points, on
Tuesday, recording its lowest close since Dec. 26.
        
------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 22:28 GMT-------------------
 
    
 INSTRUMENT    LAST    PCT CHG    NET CHG    
S&P 500                1,472.34    0.11%      1.660    
USD/JPY                   88.77   -0.01%     -0.010    
10-YR US TSY YLD     1.836     --       -0.012    
SPOT GOLD             $1,679.05    0.03%      0.550    
US CRUDE                 $93.28   -0.91%     -0.860    
DOW JONES              13534.89    0.20%      27.57    
ASIA ADRS               134.79   -0.44%      -0.60    
------------------------------------------------------------->Do
w,S&P 500 inch up with retailers,Apple drag again 
>Bond prices rise on U.S. debt ceiling jitters      
>Yen advances on Japan official's comment;euro slide 
>Oil slip as German data, US debt ceiling worries   

---STOCKS TO WATCH---  
    
    **DAEWOO SHIPBUILDING & MARINE ENGINEERING **
    Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering confirmed on
Tuesday it had submitted a bid for a project on the man-made
Upper Zakum island in the United Arab Emirates, part of an
effort to ramp up production, but said there had been no further
developments.
        
    **POSCO **
    POSCO said on Tuesday that it would consider joining a
defensive bid by South Korean shipbuilders to buy France's GTT
(Gaztransport & Technigaz), but added that it had not been
approached by the shipbuilders.
    Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Hyundai Heavy
Industries, and Samsung Heavy Industries 
are mulling a joint 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) bid for
engineering firm GTT to prevent a Chinese rival from challenging
their domination of the global LNG carrier market.
 
    
    **SK GAS **
    SK Gas said on Tuesday it won a 693 billion won ($656
million) contract to store petroleum products for affiliate SK
Lubricants.
    The deal, worth 12.7 percent of recent sales, will bring in
annual revenue of 45 billion won through to March 2026.
    
    **APPLE INC SUPPLIERS**
    LG Display fell 3.5 percent and chip maker SK
Hynix slid 3.7 percent on Tuesday after Japan's
Nikkei business daily reported that Apple Inc has asked
suppliers, including LG Display, to roughly halve supplies of
LCD panels in the January-March period.
($1 = 1056.5000 Korean won)

 (Reporting By Somang Yang; Editing by Richard Pullin)