Seoul shares rebound on U.S. debt deal optimism, euro data
* KOSPI hits highest level in 1-1/2 years
* Economic recovery in euro zone lifts shipbuilders
* Hyundai Motor, Naver rise on hopes of stronger earnings
By Jungmin Jang
SEOUL, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Seoul shares rebounded sharply on Tuesday morning, fuelled by expectations that a U.S. debt deal would be struck before Thursday's deadline, while firm factory output growth in the euro zone lifted exporters.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) edged 0.9 percent higher to 2,037.58 points by 0200 GMT after climbing as high as 2,045.50, the best intraday level since April 2012.
"Risk sentiment led by foreigners are once again driving the main board upwards," said Mirae Asset Securities analyst Chung Seung-jae, before adding, "however, breaking through the 2,050 level seems unlikely until a U.S. debt deal is struck."
The 2,050-point mark is seen as the key level, the box pattern's top that many analysts believe the KOSPI is currently trapped within.
Foreign investors were set for a 33rd consecutive session of buying, picking up a net 140.9 billion won ($131.49 million)worth of local shares and bringing their net total for the period to more than 11.4 trillion by Tuesday morning.
Wall Street gained overnight as U.S. senators said they were closing in on a deal that would reopen the government and push back a possible default for several months.
Output from euro zone factories returned to growth more strongly than expected in August, indicating South Korea's third-largest export market is rebounding across all sectors.
Shipyards outperformed the broader market early in the session as investors rotated into battered cyclicals on bullish euro zone factory growth data.
Shipbuilding industry bellwether Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd, the world's largest shipbuilder, rose 2.8 percent while Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co Ltd and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd advanced 4.4 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.
Automaker Hyundai Motor Co gained 1.5 percent, rebounding from the previous session's 1 percent loss, on prospects of increased sales in China and Europe. Affiliates Kia Motors Corp and auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis Co Ltd climbed up 1.6 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.
Naver Corp, the country's most popular search portal and producer of smartphone communication applications, jumped 5.2 percent to record the highest price of the year so far on prospects of better earnings via a popular communication
Advancing shares outnumbered decliners 524 to 234.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks rose 0.9 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged up 0.4 percent.
($1 = 1071.5250 Korean won) (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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