* Seoul shares recoup some of last week's losses
* Investors ponder risks stemming from Ukraine, China
* Kospi may trade within 1,900-1,950 band this week -analyst
By Se Young Lee
SEOUL, March 17 South Korean shares edged higher
on Monday as some investors looked for bargains, but gains were
offset by escalating tensions in Ukraine and worries about
China's slowing economy.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.2 percent at 1,923.19 points as of 0225 GMT and was trading
within a narrow band amid continued caution about external
Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to break with Ukraine to join
Russia. While the outcome of the vote was expected, investors
are worried about how far Russia's standoff against the United
States and the European Union will escalate amid warnings of
imminent sanctions against Moscow.
"What transpired over the weekend isn't strong enough to
trigger a shock, and I imagine there are investors who are
buying today on valuations after last week's considerable
decline," said Shinhan Investment analyst Han Beom-ho, who
expected the KOSPI to trade within a band of 1,900 and 1,950
"At the same time, there is more for investors to consider
now; there will be talks about sanctions following the vote in
Crimea, and Russia also holds a weapon in its natural gas
exports to Europe so there is possibility of conflict."
Investors were also pondering the ramifications of China's
decision to widen the yuan's trading band and worrying
about tighter credit conditions in the world's second-largest
Foreigners were net sellers of local stocks on Monday, on
track for the sixth consecutive session of outflows.
Shares of LG Display Co. and Kia Motors Corp.
were up 7 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively
buoyed by bargain-hunting interests.
Shares of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.
were up 3.9 percent on hopes for stronger earnings
after the company said it got a 339.3 billion Korean won ship
SK Hynix Inc was down 3.2 percent, however, on
worries about separate lawsuits filed against the company by
Toshiba Corp. and SanDisk Corp..
Toshiba and SanDisk seek damages over the suspected theft of
data related to their flagship flash memory chip technology used
in smartphones and tablet computers.
Decliners outnumbered advancers 490 to 290.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.2
percent, while the junior KOSDAQ was down 1.6 percent.