Korea Hot Stocks-LG Electronics hits 4-month high

SEOUL, March 18 Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:20pm EDT

SEOUL, March 18 (Reuters) - South Korea's main KOSPI share index was down 0.6 percent at 1,974.74 points as of 0304 GMT.

Stocks on the move on Monday include:

**LG ELEC AT 4-MONTH-HIGH**

The South Korean TV and smartphone maker LG Electronics jumped 3.8 percent to its 4-month-high, after the Nikkei newspaper said Japan's Panasonic Corp was leaning towards withdrawing from plasma television operations, which raised hopes of eased competition in the industry.

Investors' disappointment over Samsung Electronics' latest Galaxy S4 smartphone, unveiled in New York last week, is also lifting sentiment for rivals such as LG Electronics and Apple Inc, said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at IBK Securities & Investment.

"The Galaxy S4 has invited mixed responses in the industry, but the device is not that threatening, which should offer opportunities to rivals," Lee said.

LG Electronics CEO Koo Bon-joon said on Friday the smartphone maker hopes to "hit a smartphone jackpot" this year, as the laggard is trying to narrow the gap with Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc. in the burgeoning market, according to the Korea Economic Daily.

LG Electronics shares were up 3.4 percent at 81,800 Korean won ($73.66) as of 0253 GMT in the market that was down 0.5 percent, whereas Samsung Electronics shares lost 2.4 percent.

Apple shares also firmed 2.6 percent on Friday after Samsung Galaxy S4 launch. ($1 = 1110.4500 Korean won) (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Jijo Jacob)

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