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South Korean shares end flat; turnover at 6-month-low
December 24, 2012 / 6:56 AM / 5 years ago

South Korean shares end flat; turnover at 6-month-low

* Samsung Elec rebounds from steep loss

* Automakers weighed down by weakening Japanese yen

By Hyunjoo Jin

SEOUL, Dec 24 (Reuters) - South Korean shares barely moved on Monday, with turnover hitting the lowest in nearly six months ahead of the Christmas holiday and uncertainty over U.S. fiscal negotiations.

But Samsung Electronics gained 2.2 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) finished up 0.07 percent at 1981.89 points.

The KOSPI’s turnover stood at 3.2 trillion Korean won ($2.98 billion) on Monday, the lowest since June 28 this year, according to Reuters data.

The stock market will be closed for Christmas on Tuesday.

“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 inflation target.

A weaker yen makes Japanese goods cheaper in export markets where South Korean companies compete.

Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors finished flat.

The electric/gas index was among the worst performers, falling 3.5 percent.

Move on day +0.07 percent

12-month high 2,057.28 14 March 2012

12-month low 1,758.99 25 July 2012

Change on yr +8.55 percent

All-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011

All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981 (Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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