* Samsung Elec rebounds from steep loss
* Automakers hurt by weakening Japanese yen
SEOUL Dec 24 Seoul shares barely moved on
Monday in light trading ahead of Christmas, with the weakening
Japanese yen and the U.S. fiscal uncertainty keeping investors
But Samsung Electronics gained 1.8 percent,
rebounding from a 4.1 percent slump on Friday, after a brokerage
upgraded its target share price, forecasting strong smartphone
sales next year.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ticked
up 0.07 percent at 1981.89 points as of 0211 GMT.
"With a dearth of good news, shares will undergo corrections
in the final week of this year, albeit within a limited range"
said Park Hyeong-joong, an analyst at Meritz Securities.
"A chance is growing that the U.S. fiscal issue will not be
resolved by this year-end," Park said.
The Japanese yen resumed falls and neared a 20-month
low versus the dollar on Monday after incoming premier Shinzo
Abe renewed pressure on the Bank of Japan to adopt a 2 percent
A weaker yen lifts price competitiveness soft Japanese
companies in overseas markets where they directly vie with
Korean exporters in such sectors as automobiles and consumer
South Korea's top automaker Hyundai Motor fell
The healthcare sector gained 1.6 percent, whereas
the electric/gas index was among the worst performers,
falling 3.3 percent.
(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Richard Borsuk)