July 16, 2012 / 3:03 AM / 5 years ago

Seoul shares flat as investors await Bernanke outlook

* Shinwon jumps 15 pct after report of luxury brand
    * SK Gas up nearly 5 pct on media reports of LPG market

    By Joonhee Yu
    SEOUL, July 16 (Reuters) - Seoul shares were trading nearly
flat on Monday morning as investors stood by and awaited more
clues from the U.S. Federal Reserve on its stance over
additional stimulus measures.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.05 percent at 1,813.86 points as of 0245 GMT.
    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to reiterate the
bank's stance that it will take easing action only if economic
conditions deteriorate further. He is due to address Congress on
Tuesday and Wednesday.
    Although worsening global economic conditions are painting a
bleak picture on the raft of U.S. corporate earnings due this
week and pressuring risk sentiment, analysts say much of the
negative expectations have been priced in.
    "The market's next focus is on Bernanke and investors will
be combing through a slew of earnings in the meantime, but
forecasts have already been notched down several times in the
run-up, so there won't be any big disappointments barring a
significant shortfall," said Lee Seung-wook, an analyst at
Kiwoom Securities.
    Hyundai Heavy Industries fell 2.9 percent,
extending losses to a seventh day after local brokerage house
Woori Investment & Securities cut its forecast for the world's
leading shipyard, citing a sharp downturn in its oil refining
subsidiary, Hyundai Oilbank.
    Shares in Shinwon Corp jumped by the daily
ceiling of 15 percent after local media said the South Korean
fashion retailer had acquired Romeo Santamaria, a luxury Italian
leather brand.
    SK Gas Ltd rose 4.8 percent following media
reports that it was entering the market for liquefied petroleum
gas products, citing company officials.

 (Reporting by Joonhee Yu; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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