S.Korea shares rebound on bargain-hunting; China worries persist

Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:40pm EDT

* Benchmark index on a technical rebound

* Worries about China's growth will cap gains -analyst

* Foreigners are net sellers for 4th straight session

By Se Young Lee

SEOUL, March 13 (Reuters) - South Korean shares rose on Thursday, recouping losses from a day earlier on bargain-hunting interest in the absence of other major developments to influence investors.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.6 percent at 1,943.31 points as of 0229 GMT, following Wednesday's 1.6 percent drop.

But the market may struggle to make further gains as worries about China's growth persists.

The country is South Korea's biggest exports market, meaning that the effects of any rapid slowdown in the world's second-largest economy will be felt quickly by local manufacturers.

"What we're seeing today is a reaction to yesterday's sharp decline based on price (valuation) merits," said Hana Daetoo analyst Chang Hee-jong, noting renewed demand for blue-chip stocks among foreigners.

"But concerns about China remain the biggest issue for the market, and this will continue to affect markets throughout the first half of this year."

Foreigners were net sellers of local stocks in early morning trade, on track to record their fourth consecutive session of outflows.

Large-caps SK Hynix Inc and Samsung Electronics Co. were up 2.8 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively, as investors looked to buy the shares on the cheap.

Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. shares were also up 1.5 percent after the company disclosed in a regulatory filing late on Wednesday that it is in talks with the Philippines about an aircraft export contract.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 442 to 350.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.6 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ was 0.7 percent higher. (Editing by Kim Coghill)