March 31, 2013 / 11:46 PM / 5 years ago

Seoul shares seen higher ahead of U.S. data, Samsung guidance

SEOUL, April 1 (Reuters) - Seoul shares are likely to extend
gains on Monday after reaching a three-week-high on optimistic
expectations on key U.S. data and Samsung Electronics'
 earnings estimates due this week.  
    But caution will linger about the Japanese yen's weakness,
as the country's central bank is likely to start open-ended
asset purchases immediately following a two-day rate review that
ends on Thursday.
    South Korean inflation unexpectedly eased to a seven-month
low in March and further below the central bank's target,
official data showed on Monday, reinforcing expectations of
fiscal and monetary stimulus that has supported Seoul shares
last week. 
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed
up 0.6 percent at 2,004.89 points on Friday, but for the third
quarter, it was up just 0.4 percent. 
    "With the new quarter kicking off, there is little reason to
sell South Korean stocks. Foreign selling has moderated, the
KOSPI will try to stay above the 2,000-level and breach its
previous high this week," said Seo Dong-phil, an analyst at IBK
Investment & Securities. 
    European and U.S. markets have shut for Easter Friday, and
will reopen on Monday.
    The Institute of Supply Management's manufacturing survey
and non-farm payroll figures, both for March, are due this week,
while Samsung Electronics, the KOSPI bellwether, is also
expected to announce its earnings guidance for the January to
March period later this week.     
-------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @22:28 GMT----------------   
           INSTRUMENT      LAST    PCT CHG     NET CHG    
S&P 500                1,569.19    0.41%       6.340    
USD/JPY                   94.28     0.1%       0.090    
10-YR US TSY YLD     1.852     --         0.000    
SPOT GOLD             $1,596.81   -0.41%      -6.630    
US CRUDE                 $97.28    0.05%       0.050    
DOW JONES              14578.54    0.36%       52.38    
ASIA ADRS               135.70   -0.44%       -0.60    
P 500 ends at record closing high                
>Euro zone bid helps bonds stem quarter bleed       
>Euro edge down on Cyprus, Italy political deadlock 
>Oil settle higher, U.S. crude surge 5.9 percent

    South Korean automakers plan to announce their global
vehicle sales for March later in the day.
    **BUILDERS **
    The South Korean government plans to announce measures aimed
at stimulating the sluggish housing sector on Monday, media
reports said.
    **STX PAN OCEAN **
     An initial round of bidding to acquire a controlling stake
in the South Korean bulk shipper failed to attract any bids, the
company's largest shareholder STX Corp said on

 (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Eric Meijer)
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