Foreign selling caps S.Korean shares amid earnings caution

Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:51pm EST

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SEOUL, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Foreign selling capped gains for South Korean shares on Monday morning as caution persisted about corporate earnings, while Apple supplier LG Display tumbled on a report of slowing iPhone sales.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ticked 0.2 percent higher to 2,000.36 points as of 0236 GMT, after opening down 0.14 percent.

"The KOSPI is undergoing a correction at around the 2,000-point level without momentum," said Kim Joo-yong, an analyst at Bookook Securities.

"The KOSPI will continue to be rangebound before U.S. housing data and China's GDP data be released later this week," he said.

Foreign investors sold a net 60.8 billion Korean won ($57.65 million) worth of shares on the main index as of 0232 GMT, compared with 11.5 billion won on Friday, according to Korea Exchange data.

Heavyweights gained ground, with Samsung Electronics up 0.4 percent and Hyundai Motor rising 1 percent.

Builders rallied after media reports said that the incoming administration may come up with measures to boost the sluggish housing sector.

Daewoo Engineering & Construction firmed 2.3 percent, while smaller builders such as Ssangyong Engineering & Construction jumped by the daily limit of 15 percent.

LG Display, a supplier for Apple Inc., tumbled 4 percent to its lowest level in nearly three months, after the Nikkei reported that its Japanese peers cut panel output amid slower-than-expected iPhone 5 sales.

Woongjin Holdings rose by the daily limit of 15 percent after media reports said a court had approved its plan to sell its chemical unit, Woongjin Chemical. Shares in Woongjin Chemical also jumped nearly 15 percent. ($1 = 1054.7000 Korean won) (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Additional reporting by Chang Seong-won; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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