SEOUL, Jan 25 Seoul shares are expected to open up on positive U.S. economic data, although volatility could increase depending on the Korean won's movements. "Apple's worse-than-expected earnings might have dented sentiment yesterday, but it's not a sign of trouble in the entire mobile phone market. Tech shares are expected to see a mixed session," said Cho Byung-hyun, an analyst at Tong Yang Securities. Signs of further weakening in the yen could trigger sell-offs, Cho said, while fourth-quarter earnings reports from heavyweight Samsung Electronics and Kia Motors could also affect bets. World equity markets rose on Thursday on encouraging economic data despite a selloff in Apple shares, with U.S. factory activity growing the most in nearly two years in January and the number of new claims for jobless benefits dropping to a five-year low. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ended down 0.8 percent at 1,964.48 points on Thursday, its lowest close since Dec. 10. -------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @23:20 GMT--------------- INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,494.82 0% 0.010 USD/JPY 90.36 0.03% 0.030 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.852 -- 0.000 SPOT GOLD $1,668.15 0.05% 0.790 US CRUDE $96.01 0.06% 0.060 DOW JONES 13825.33 0.33% 46.00 ASIA ADRS 134.44 0.25% 0.34 ------------------------------------------------------------->S& P rises for seventh day, 1,500 too steep a climb >Bond prices fall as jobless claims drop to 5-yr low >Yen falls after Japan official's comment >Oil rises on encouraging economic data ---STOCKS TO WATCH--- **SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS ** Samsung Electronics announced a fourth-quarter operating profit of a record 8.84 trillion Korean won ($8.27 billion) on Friday, above a guidance of 8.8 trillion won it estimated earlier this month. **KIA MOTORS ** Kia Motors Corp will announce its fourth-quarter earnings later in the day. Shares in Kia's affiliate Hyundai Motor Co fell 4.6 percent after the automaker posted a weaker-than expected quarterly profit of 1.89 trillion won ($1.77 billion) on Thursday. **LG DISPLAY ** LG Display Co Ltd reported a fourth-quarter operating profit of 587 billion won ($550 million), one-third higher than the market consensus and up from an operating loss of 155 billion won for the same period a year earlier. But LG Display, a major supplier of iPad and iPhone screens, said its LCD panel shipments would slide in the first quarter of 2013, underscoring worries about weaker growth for Apple Inc products. **NONGSHIM ** Nongshim Co Ltd said reported late Thursday a net profit of 207.5 million won ($194,200) in 2012, a 99.8 percent decrease from the previous year. The food processor also announced a year-end dividend of 4,000 won per share, or 23.1 billion won. ($1 = 1068.7500 Korean won) (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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