* KOSPI trapped in a narrow range in lacklustre trading
* Mobile carriers SK Telecom, KT Corp, LG Uplus rally
* Institutions position as net buyers to underpin the index
SEOUL, Dec 11 Seoul shares moved narrowly on
Wednesday as investors looked ahead to the all-important U.S.
Federal Reserve meeting next week, but a clutch of stocks like
Kia Motors got a lift from bargain hunting after a recent string
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
flat at 1,993.60 points by 0213 GMT. It hit an intraday high of
2,000.15 earlier, briefly recovering its 60-day moving average -
a key technical indicator - of 1,998.52.
"Low valuations of local stocks opened up some room for
gains, but the market is still placed at fluctuating intervals
in the absence of market-moving risk variables," said Cho
Byung-hyun, an analyst at Tong Yang Securities.
Analysts say much clarification of the market's direction
would come after the Fed meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday next
week, as investors wait to see when the U.S. central bank will
begin reducing its stimulus.
Automaker Kia Motors Corp rose 1.3 percent on
bargain hunting, after losing 7.5 percent in the month of
December through Tuesday. Its affiliate Hyundai Motor Co
was up 0.2 percent after rising more than 1 percent
earlier in the session.
Mobile carriers outperformed on demand for defensive stocks.
SK Telecom Co Ltd rose 1.3 percent, LG Uplus Corp
jumped 4.4 percent and KT Corp added 2.3
LG Electronics Inc and LG Display Co Ltd
gained 1.9 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
LG International Corp and GS Holdings
rose 1.3 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively,
after a consortium between the two companies was chosen as the
preferred bidder to buy a controlling stake in STX Energy Co Ltd
Local institutional investors purchased a net 27.8 billion
won ($26 million) of local shares by mid-session while foreign
investors offloaded a net 4.4 billion won worth.
Declining shares outnumbered advancing issues 401 to 336.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was flat.
The junior KOSDAQ edged up 0.3 percent following a
decline to its lowest level since June 26.
($1 = 1052.2000 Korean won)
(Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Chris Gallagher)