* Nongshim, CJ CGV rise on improved earnings outlook
* KAI slips as Odin Hldgs plans to offload 5 pct stake
* Hanjinkal tumbles as some investors lock in gains
SEOUL, Feb 11 Seoul shares inched up early
Tuesday to hit their highest intraday level in almost two weeks
as index giant Samsung Electronics rose on bargain-hunting, but
gains were capped before the new U.S. central bank chief speaks
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)
was 0.4 percent lower at 1,931.30 points at 0231 GMT
after touching an intraday high of 1,931.94, its highest since
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will appear on Tuesday
before the House of Representatives Financial Services
Committee, dominated by the Republican party, and on Thursday
before the Senate Banking Committee, dominated by the Democratic
"The market is more ready to be relieved than to cheer on
Yellen's comments, which are expected to clarify uncertainties
about the Fed's tapering pace and interest hike plans," Mirae
Asset Securities analyst Chung Seung-jae, referring to the
central bank reducing the amount of bonds it buys.
"In the absence of a Fed meeting in February, her
testimonies are seen as the biggest risk event for the month."
KOSPI stock decliners led advancers by only 398 to 380,
reflecting a lack of market-moving speculation ahead of the
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the largest
component in the KOSPI, advanced 1.9 percent on bargain hunting.
Samsung Electronics shares tumbled nearly 7 percent in January.
Food processor Nongshim Co Ltd rose 4.5 percent
after raising product prices by an average 7.6 percent, stirring
hope for improved earnings in the coming quarters.
Theatre operator CJ CGV Co Ltd advanced 3.2
percent as its earnings outlook brightened on increased ticket
sales so far this year.
Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd (KAI) fell 1
percent after Odin Holdings Co Ltd on Monday said it would
offload its 5 percent stake in the aircraft maker, selling up to
$143 million worth of shares.
The day's worst performers so far included real-estate
leaser Hanjinkal Corp, which tumbled 5 percent as
some investors consolidated profit following a 41.8 percent
surge in the share price last month spurred by a rosy growth
Overall, offshore investors sold a net 47 billion won ($43.8
million) worth of KOSPI shares as of the middle of the trading
session. Institutional and retail investors net purchased a
combined 41 billion won.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks and the
junior KOSDAQ both traded flat.
($1 = 1074.3000 Korean won)
(Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Christopher Cushing)