* LG units fall on weak earnings, Apple earnings forecast
* Stabilising won lends support for automakers
* Hyundai Motor & affiliates rally, support the index
SEOUL, Jan 28 Seoul shares steadied early on
Tuesday after sharp declines the previous three sessions, with
investors staying cautious ahead of expected stimulus reduction
by the U.S. Federal Reserve this week.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.05 percent at 1,911.21 points as of 0223 GMT. The KOSPI shed
more than 3 percent in the past three sessions.
"Investors are on hold before the Fed meeting as it's the
key for a near-term rebound for the market," said Mirae Asset
Securities analyst Chung Seung-jae. "If the Fed's stimulus curve
is in line with market expectations, it can reverse the foreign
outflow trend and allow the market to lure offshore investors
with its low valuations."
Thomson Reuters data shows the KOSPI is carrying a
price-to-book (PBR) ratio of 1.21.
The Fed is expected to cut an additional $10 billion in its
asset purchasing stimulus following a two-day policy meeting
that ends on Wednesday.
Offshore investors were poised to extend their net selling
streak to a fourth session by offloading a net 122.1 billion won
($112.7 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session.
Key suppliers of Apple Inc's smartphones and
tablets dropped after Apple offered a weaker-than-expected
forecast for this quarter and its shares plummeted 8 percent on
LG Display Co Ltd and LG Innotek Co Ltd
fell 4.4 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.
Lacklustre earnings pushed its affiliates LG Electronics Inc
and LG International Corp into the red,
dipping 3.6 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, a stabilising won currency against the dollar
and yen supported automakers Hyundai Motor Co
and Kia Motors Corp, which gained 2.5
percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
Affiliate and autoparts maker Hyundai Mobis Co Ltd
rose 3.6 percent after announcing
better-than-expected October-December quarter earnings on Monday
and a plan to build three additional production plants by
Mobile carrier KT Corp rose 4.9 percent despite
a soft earnings report early on Tuesday, as the installation of
a new company chairman on Monday raised hopes of a quick
Decliners outnumbered advancers 430 to 346.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.2
percent, while the tech-heavy junior KOSDAQ edged 0.2