Seoul shares seen steady; BOK expected to hold rates

Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:31pm EST

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SEOUL, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Seoul shares are likely to stay in
a range on Thursday after steep gains on Wednesday, with
investors forgoing large positions as options expire and the
Bank of Korea is set to announce its key rate decision during
the session. 
    "The break in the yen's recent weakness is expected to
support the main board, as currency issues are  expected to be
further discussed at the G20 finance ministers' meeting," said
Park Sung-hoon, an analyst at Woori Investment & Securities.
    The yen ended a volatile trading session little changed on
Wednesday as concerns about currency wars and the fallout from
mixed messages from the G7 put added focus on a G20 meeting in
Moscow later in the week. World stock markets closed mixed.
 
    South Korea's central bank is seen holding interest rates
steady at 2.75 percent on Thursday for a fourth straight month,
17 of 21 analysts surveyed by Reuters said. 
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose
1.6 percent to 1,976.07 points on Wednesday, hitting a
three-week closing high and logging its biggest daily percentage
gain since Jan. 2. 
    
-------------------- MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 22:38 GMT ---------------
                 INSTRUMENT       LAST      PCT CHG     NET CHG
S&P 500                1,520.33        0.06%       0.900
USD/JPY                   93.21       -0.16%      -0.150
10-YR US TSY YLD     2.028         --         0.049
SPOT GOLD             $1,642.25       -0.01%      -0.110
US CRUDE                 $97.01       -0.51%      -0.500
DOW JONES              13982.91       -0.26%      -35.79
ASIA ADRS               137.32        0.00%        0.01
----------------------------------------------------------------
>Wall St pauses after rally to 5-yr high            
>Prices fall after lukewarm 10-year auction         
>Yen flat as cautious investors trim bets before G20 
>Brent firm near $119, U.S. crude stocks rise       

---STOCKS TO WATCH---  
      
   **MERITZ FINANCIAL GROUP ** 
   Meritz Financial Group Inc said in a regulatory filing on
late Wednesday it is considering several angles for a capital
increase including a rights issue, but nothing has been decided.
    Shares in Meritz Financial Group Inc fell 6 percent on
Wednesday after South Korea's stock exchange ordered the
financial holding company to confirm or deny a media report
saying it was pursuing a rights issue of about 150 billion won
($137.52 million). 
    
    **COSMAX ** 
    Cosmetics manufacturer Cosmax Inc reported on late Wednesday
a 2012 net profit of 22.4 billion won ($20.61 million), a 95
percent jump from the previous year. 
    
($1 = 1086.9500 Korean won)

 (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Eric Meijer)
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