* Little change after central bank holds rate as expected
* Steelmakers gains for second session on improved outlook
SEOUL Feb 14 Seoul shares ticked higher to mark
a three-week high on Thursday but trade was thin ahead of
options expiries later in the day and a G20 meeting this week
that is expected to set the tone for future currency moves.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose
0.4 percent to 1,984.33 points as of 0241 GMT. It jumped 1.6
percent a day earlier as the yen firmed, helping South Korean
"There is little change seen...the index saw a steep gain
yesterday, and with the G20 meeting coming later this week the
main board is not likely to move drastically in one direction
until next week, said Kim Young-il, an analyst at Daishin
The Bank of Korea held interest rates steady at 2.75 percent
on Thursday for a fourth straight month, in line with
expectations and having little impact on the market.
Steelmakers were in favour for a second straight
session, with POSCO up 1.5 percent while Dongbu
Steel Co Ltd rose 7 percent.
"Steelmakers' profitability is seen improving from the
second quarter as unfavourable factors such as the latest cut in
automotive steel sheet pricing have already come to pass," said
Kim Kang-oh, an analyst at Hanwha securities.
Advancing shares outnumbered decliners 433 to 335 near
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.5
percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.6 percent
higher. Monthly KOSPI 200 index options and options for
individual stocks are due to expire later in the day.
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)