August 29, 2012 / 2:57 AM / 5 years ago

Seoul shares edge up; new smartphone boosts LG Electronics

* LG Electronics up 4.5 pct after unveiling new smartphone

* Samsung Electronics gains 1.9 pct, extending yesterday’s gains

SEOUL, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Seoul shares edged up on Wednesday morning as investors held fire ahead a meeting in the United States later this week of international central bankers, though LG Electronics shares leapt after launching a new snartphone.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ticked 0.27 percent higher to 1,921.43 points as of 0230 GMT.

LG Electronics rose 4.5 percent after it unveiled Monday its new smartphone model Optimus G, billed as using cutting-edge parts from affiliates such as LG Display and LG Innotek.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics appeared to be shaking off the immediate effects of its sweeping legal loss against rival Apple Inc last week, gaining 1.9 percent in morning trade.

Otherwise, the Korean market, like those elsewhere, was largely in wait-and-see mode before Friday’s gathering of central bankers at Jackson Hole in the United States.

“The market is caught in a lull as key events are still to come, such as Jackson Hole and possible action from the European Central Bank to address the debt crisis,” said Lee Jae-man, analyst at Tong Yang Securities.

Local institutional investors bought a net 82.3 billion won ($72.4 million) as of 0230 GMT, buttressing the index against net selling by foreign and retail investors.

Steelmakers and shipbuilders lost ground, with POSCO edging down 0.66 percent while STX Offshore and Shipbuilding declined 1.72 percent.

Decliners outnumbered gainers 393 to 377 on the main board, while the KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.3 percent. The junior KOSDAQ edged 0.8 percent higher.

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