Seoul shares inch up; Hyundai Motor regains some ground

Mon Nov 5, 2012 10:07pm EST

Related Topics

* Hyundai Motor up 4 pct after big losses a day earlier

* KEPCO down almost 3 pct after shutdown of reactors

SEOUL Nov 6 (Reuters) - Seoul shares edged up on Tuesday morning as Hyundai Motor Co recouped some losses after plunging a day earlier on its admission that it had overstated fuel economy estimates for vehicles sold in North America.

But trade was in general subdued as investors await the outcome of the U.S. election which will be held later in the day.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ticked 0.2 percent higher to 1,912.64 points as of 0231 GMT, helped as local institutional investors purchased a net 27.4 billion won ($25 million) worth of shares.

Hyundai Motor Co shares rose 4.3 percent while affiliate Kia Motors Corp climbed 2 percent. Both automakers had lost about 7 percent on Monday, losses which came on top of recent weakness in their shares due to a stronger won.

"Investors are buying up Hyundai while the price is low, as Hyundai Motor shares fell 20 percent between the end of September and Monday despite solid third-quarter earnings and a large sales increase in China during October," said Shin Chung-kwan, an auto sector analyst at KB Investment & Securities.

In addition to the U.S. election, other key events discouraging investors from building large positions include China's once-a-decade leadership transition event, the 18th Communist Party Congress, which is scheduled to start on Thursday.

Greece's parliament will also decide to approve or reject on Wednesday the government's package of measures including cost cuts and tax hikes.

State-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) slumped 2.6 percent after two nuclear power reactors run by a KEPCO subsidiary were shut down for nearly two months on Monday to replace parts provided with forged certificates.

Gaining shares nearly matched decliners 387 to 386.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.2 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.4 percent higher. ($1 = 1091.1750 Korean won) (Reporting by Joyce Lee and Seong Chang; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

FILED UNDER: