Seoul shares seen edging higher, buoyed by U.S. data

Sun Mar 3, 2013 11:32pm GMT

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SEOUL, March 4 (Reuters) - Seoul shares are likely to rise
slightly on Monday when trading resumes after a public holiday,
with strong U.S. data supporting investor appetite and
overshadowing concerns about U.S. spending cuts.
    "The KOSPI is seen continuing gains from last week as
additional talks are expected concerning the U.S.
'sequestration', while the yen's previous rapid weakness is seen
getting milder," said Han Chi-hwan, an analyst at KDB Daewoo
Securities. 
    U.S. President Barack Obama and Republicans failed to agree
to halt the $85 billion across-the-board budget cuts called the
"sequester" on Friday. 
    Global equity markets fell as weak economic data from Europe
and China weighed, but Wall Street rebounded on news of
surprisingly strong U.S. manufacturing and consumer sentiment.
 
    The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)
 gained 1.1 percent on Thursday to close at 2,026.49
points on Thursday, its highest close since Jan. 2. The market
was closed on Friday for a public holiday. 
    
--------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @07:31 GMT---------------
                  INSTRUMENT    LAST    PCT CHG    NET CHG    
S&P 500               1,518.20     0.23%      3.520    
10-YR US TSY YLD    1.845      --        0.000    
SPOT GOLD            $1,576.54     0.00%      0.000    
US CRUDE                $90.68    -1.49%     -1.370    
DOW JONES             14089.66     0.25%      35.17    
ASIA ADRS              136.82     0.44%       0.60    
------------------------------------------------------------->Wa
ll Street advances as data outweighs budget cuts 
>Prices rise as spending cuts point to weaker growth 
>U.S. dollar rallies, shrugs off gov't spending cuts 
>Brent crude oil erases 2013 gains                  

---STOCKS TO WATCH---  
      
    **CJ KOREA EXPRESS **
    Seoul Guarantee Insurance plans to sell a 1.3 percent stake
in logistics firm CJ Korea Express Corp through a block deal at
a discount of at most 5 percent to Friday's closing price before
the market open on Monday, local newspaper Korea Economic Daily
reported last week. 
    At the discount, Seoul Guarantee insurance is expected to
raise at least 32.9 billion won ($30.4 million). 
     
    **COWAY **
    Water purifier maker Coway Co Ltd said in a regulatory
filing on late Thursday it is considering selling a stake in
sewage treatment subsidiary Green Environmental Technology Co,
and has chosen Woori Investment & Securities as
advisor. 
    Coway acquired Green Environmental Technology in 2010 for
28.2 billion won.
    ($1 = 1082.8250 Korean won)

 (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Richard Pullin)