Seoul shares hit 6-mth high, LG hurt by Apple's weakness

Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:35pm EDT

* Gains across board after worries ease over Syria

* LG Display slumps on lukewarm reaction to new iPhones

SEOUL, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Seoul shares hit a fresh 6-month high on Thursday as economic optimism outweighed early profit-taking, while easing worries about instability in Syria also lent support.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 0.5 percent to 2,014.34 points by 0310 GMT after rising as high as 2,017.48 points, the highest intraday level since March 7.

"Much of the concern regarding the global economy has eased with the recent bullish data around the world, attracting investors to the stock market," said Kang Hyun-gee, an analyst at IM Investment & Securities, referring to the recent stronger-than-expected economic data from China.

In Seoul, the Bank of Korea held its base rate steady at 2.50 percent for a fourth consecutive month, as widely expected, while maintaining its previously upbeat views on the economy.

LG Display Co Ltd, a key supplier for Apple Inc's iPhone and iPad line of products, fell 3.5 percent. Apple shares slumped after its new iPhone models disappointed investors who were hoping for a cheaper version or a new product line.

Steelmaker POSCO fell 2.2 percent after selling some of its own stock at a 4.8 percent discount to Wednesday's closing price in a block offering.

Brokerages Hyundai Securities Co Ltd and Daewoo Securities Co Ltd rose 3 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively, on prospects of higher earnings stemming from the recent rise in the local markets.

Foreign investors purchased a net 271.8 billion won ($250.16 million) worth of local shares in the morning as they were poised to extend their net buying streak to a 15th session.

Gainers outnumbered decliners 450 to 342.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.6 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.3 percent higher.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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