S.Korea stocks edge up although foreign selling persists; won flat

Thu May 8, 2014 11:10pm EDT

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* KOSPI headed for third week of losses
    * Won flat, set to gain for a second straight week

    SEOUL, May 9 (Reuters) - Seoul shares edged higher on Friday
morning after strong quarterly earnings from cosmetics company
AmorePacific Corp prompted a rally in some consumer
goods stocks and  offset persistent selling by foreign
investors.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.2 percent at 1,953.48 points, but is down 0.3 percent for the
week, heading for its third straight weekly decline.
    "The driver's seat for the market has been left vacant as
foreigners maintain their net selling stance, thus diminishing
the likelihood of a sharp rise," said Lim Dong-rak, a market
analyst at Hanyang Securities.
    Turned off by a recent sharp appreciation in the won,
foreign investors were on track to become net sellers for a
seventh straight day, with 65.8 billion Korean won ($64.3
million) worth of KOSPI shares sold near mid-session.
    The won was trading flat on Friday, quoted at 1,022.2
against the dollar. It has risen 0.8 percent so far this week,
heading for a second straight week of gains.
    AmorePacific Corp soared 12.8 percent after it
reported a 25 percent increase in quarterly operating profit as
exports to Southeast Asia rose. Its parent company AmorePacific
Group jumped 7.6 percent.
    Theatre operator CJ CGV Co Ltd plunged 7.2
percent after quarterly operating profit slid 54 percent from
year earlier on higher labour and rent costs.
    Local financial markets showed little reaction to the Bank
of Korea's unanimous decision to hold interest rates steady for
a 12th straight month. 

        
                       0232 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won            1,022.2       1,022.6
 Yen/won           10.0501/551       10.0551
 *KTB futures           105.94        105.91
 KOSPI                1,953.48      1,950.60
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
($1 = 1022.8500 Korean Won)

 (Reporting by Jungmin Jang)
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