Seoul shares end up 0.5 pct as shipyards rally; autos drag

SEOUL, July 22 Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:16am EDT

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SEOUL, July 22 (Reuters) - Seoul shares ended 0.5 percent higher on Monday helped by rallies in shipyards such as Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd as the latest string of new orders pointed to a long-awaited improvement in the ailing sector.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) finished up at 1,880.35 points, snapping a two-day losing streak.

Foreign investors were buyers of a net 19 billion Korean won ($16.94 million) worth of stocks after two straight sessions of selling.

Hyundai Heavy Industries rose 4.8 percent, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd climbed 3.1 percent and Samsung Heavy Industries Co Ltd rose 1.8 percent.

But technology and auto heavyweights underperformed. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the biggest share on the main KOSPI, ended flat.

Kia Motors Corp, the fifth biggest share on the main KOSPI, dipped 0.7 percent. A big win at the polls by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in upper house elections gave the green light for prolonged monetary stimulus, potentially spurring weakness in the Japanese yen currency.

A weak yen tends to put South Korean exporters at a disadvantage against their Japanese rivals in overseas markets.

($1 = 1121.7500 Korean won) (Reporting by Jungyoun Park; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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