Seoul shares up again on China data, foreign inflows

Mon Sep 9, 2013 10:41pm EDT

* Foreign net inflows on track for a 13th straight day

* Steelmakers benefit from price rise in steel and firm won

* Shipbuilders keep rallying on China data

SEOUL, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Seoul shares touched another three-month intraday high on Tuesday morning, helped by continued foreign buying of local stocks and fresh signs of global economic stability, driven by China data.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.5 percent at 1,984.70 points as of 0204 GMT after hitting 1,988.74, its highest intraday level since June 5.

China's trade and inflation data for August have bolstered investors' confidence in the world's second-largest economy, and global markets are hopeful that industrial output and retail sales will provide more evidence the country has averted a sharp slowdown.

"Upbeat China data and foreign investors are underpinning the market," said Lee Jae-hoon, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities.

Lee said further gains may be capped as foreigners have made net purchases of more than 500 billion won ($460.07 million) of local stocks the past three sessions and the buying pace could ease.

Foreign net buying of local stocks was at 266.3 billion won in the morning. The streak of foreign net buying, hitting a 12th day on Monday, is the longest this year.

Steelmakers rallied on prospects for higher earnings on global price rises in steel and the firm Korean won. POSCO rose 1.7 percent, while Hyundai Steel Co advanced 2.1 percent.

Shipbuilders gained again on data from China, South Korea's biggest export market. Hyundai Heavy Industries Co led gains, with 3.1 percent, while Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd and Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co Ltd rose 3.6 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

SK Hynix Inc, a key supplier to Apple Inc , gained 1.4 percent on expectations for higher earnings as the U.S. company is set to unveil its newest smartphones later on Tuesday.

Gainers outnumbered decliners 446 to 316.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks gained 0.6 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.2 percent higher.

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