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Seoul shares seen higher after Bernanke comments, Wall St gains
July 17, 2013 / 11:53 PM / 4 years ago

Seoul shares seen higher after Bernanke comments, Wall St gains

SEOUL, July 18 (Reuters) - Seoul shares may open higher on
Thursday after Wall Street ended firmer following comments by
the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that the timeline for
winding down the stimulus measures was not fixed.
    "This will not bring joy, but it is just enough to keep
investors reassured," said Cho Byung-hyun, a market analyst at
Tong Yang Securities.
    The Fed chairman said on Wednesday that the U.S. central
bank still expects to start scaling back its massive bond
purchase program later this year, but he left open the option to
change that plan if the economic outlook shifted. 
    Seoul's share market has been buoyed by expectations that
rules that effectively compel the National Pension Service (NPS)
to limit its ownership in listed companies may be eased soon.
    "Whether gains fuelled by pension fund buying will continue
will be a focus today," said Tong Yang Securities' Cho. 
    Pension funds bought a net 153.7 billion Korean won ($137.05
million) worth of stocks in the previous session. 
    Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) shares may
rise after it said late on Wednesday NPS has asked South Korea's
top financial regulator to approve its plan to increase its
stake in the state utility firm to 10 percent from 4.85 percent.
    Under current regulations, NPS has to keep its stake in
KEPCO under 5 percent because the government does not want 
concentrated shareholdings in a national utility. 
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ended
up 1.13 percent at 1,887.49 points on Wednesday, the highest
close since June 19.
    
------------------ MARKET SNAPSHOT @ 22:37 GMT ----------------
                 INSTRUMENT      LAST      PCT CHG      NET CHG
S&P 500               1,680.91        0.28%        4.650
USD/JPY                  99.64        0.07%        0.070
10-YR US TSY YLD    2.491         --          0.000
SPOT GOLD            $1,274.44       -0.07%       -0.950
US CRUDE               $106.58        0.09%        0.100
DOW JONES             15470.52        0.12%        18.67
ASIA ADRS              142.24        0.69%         0.98
--------------------------------------------------------------->
WallSt get a lift from Bernanke's flexible Fed
view 
>US yields fall as Bernanke curb bond-buying
worries 
>Dollar rebound from 3-wk low after Bernanke
remarks 
>Oil rise as US inventories drop again, gasoline
off 
    
    STOCKS TO WATCH
    
    LOTTE CHEMICAL CORP 
    South Korea's Hyundai Oilbank and Lotte Chemical Corp plan
to spend 1 trillion won ($894 million) jointly to produce a
million tonnes per year each of mixed-xylene and light naphtha
from late 2016. 
    
    CRUDE OIL REFINERS, CHEMICAL FIRMS
    Refiners and chemical firms may gain after Brent crude
inched higher on Wednesday while gasoline prices fell slightly
after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported
further draws in American crude stockpiles and
larger-than-expected increases in gasoline
inventories. 
    
($1 = 1121.5000 Korean won)

 (Reporting by Jungyoun Park; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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