Seoul shares seen steady, pause in yen weakness lends support
SEOUL, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Seoul shares are likely to remain steady on Wednesday as investors remain reluctant to build positions ahead of a Bank of Korea rate decision on Thursday and a Group of 20 finance ministers meeting later in the week. Expectations of a pause or slowing in yen weakness has lent support to the market, though foreign exchange moves, particularly in the Japanese currency will continue to be the main focus for domestic stocks. "South Korea's financial markets remain stable despite North Korea's nuclear test, with buying by foreign investors supporting the index," said Oh Seung-hoon, an analyst at Daishin Securities. Sharp declines in the yen dragged on South Korean large-caps throughout January as yen weakness increases the value of overseas earnings for Japanese rivals and makes them more price competitive. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell 0.3 percent to close at 1,945.79 points on Tuesday, losing ground after marking a four-day high in the previous session. But other stock markets edged higher on Tuesday, while the yen rallied against the dollar after an official with the Group of Seven said it is worried about excessive moves in the Japanese currency. --------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @22:31 GMT---------------- INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,519.43 0.16% 2.420 USD/JPY 93.47 0.01% 0.010 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.979 -- 0.014 SPOT GOLD $1,651.15 0.05% 0.750 US CRUDE $97.51 0.49% 0.480 DOW JONES 14018.70 0.34% 47.46 ASIA ADRS 137.31 -0.01% -0.01 ---------------------------------------------------------------> Wall Street ends slightly higher, Dow near a record >Prices dip before retail data;G7 spark covers >Yen rallies as G7 say concerned about weak currency >Oil rises on new forecasts for demand growth ---STOCKS TO WATCH--- **SSANGYONG MOTOR ** South Korea's stock exchange said in a filing late Tuesday Ssangyong Motor Co Ltd has until Thursday to confirm or deny a Korean media report saying the automaker is pursuing a rights issue. The stock exchange extended the deadline, previously set on 0900 GMT Tuesday, in consideration for Ssangyong's company holidays continuing through Wednesday. Shares in Ssangyong Motor fell 3.2 percent on Tuesday after online media Money Today reported Ssangyong's board will decide on a rights issue worth about 100 billion won ($91.3 million) on Thursday. **DONGAONE ** Flour processor DongAOne Co Ltd reported late Tuesday a 2012 operating profit of 14.3 billion won ($13.1 million), a 340 percent increase from the previous year. ($1 = 1090.7250 Korean won) (Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
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DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.