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Seoul shares expected to gain ground next week

Nov. 5, 2011 - 14:44 By
South Korean stocks are forecast to move upward next week, analysts said Saturday, with the Greek prime minister's latest victory in a confidence vote and an upcoming meeting among European financial ministers likely to embolden investor sentiment.

   The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed
at 1,928.41 on Friday, down 1.07 points, or 0.06 percent, from one
week ago.

   Reports about MF Global Holdings' filing for bankruptcy
protection and an announcement from Greek Prime Minister George
Papandreou that the troubled country will hold a referendum on the
European Union-led bailout package spooked investors earlier in the

   Adding to the grim market outlook was LG Electronics' move to
raise 1.06 trillion won worth of capital through new share sales,
which sent stocks of the world's No. 3 mobile phone maker and its
affiliated companies into tailspin.

   The Seoul bourse, however, recouped most of its losses on
Friday, jumping more than 3 percent as Greece's decision to cancel
the referendum and the European Central Bank's move to cut key
interest rates relieved investors.

   Analysts said that the KOSPI is forecast to move upward in the
coming week as Papandreou's Cabinet narrowly won a confidence vote
in the Greek parliament early Saturday morning, bolstering the
outlook for the rescue package and likely helping Greece avert a
fall into a default.

   "Because the KOSPI went through some corrections since it has
added around 300 points from its lowest level, investors may expect
the index to gain ground," said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at Daewoo
Securities Co.

   Investors are keen on the results of impending events that may
provide directions for the global financial markets and how well
global leaders can coordinate to contain the Greek crisis.

   Financial ministers of the European Union are scheduled to hold
a two-day meeting starting on Monday, and Ben Bernanke, chairman of
the Federal Reserve, is slated to give a speech later in the week.

(Yonhap News)