Seoul stocks climb to over 2-week high, won firms

Mon May 12, 2014 10:34pm EDT

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* Foreign investors poised to snap 8-day selling streak
    * Won firms against the greenback, yen

    SEOUL, May 13 (Reuters) - Seoul shares rose to their highest
level in more than two weeks on Tuesday and the won 
strengthened, fuelled by robust foreign capital inflows, while
tech names like Samsung Electronics followed their Wall Street
peers higher.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
1 percent at 1,984.79 points as of 0210 GMT, the highest since
April 25.
    "The market has not been able to outperform the global
markets due to not-so-great first-quarter corporate earnings, 
but was able to follow the upwards trend stemming from Wall
Street with offshore investors repositioning as net buyers,"
said Bae Sung-young, an analyst at Hyundai Securities.
    Foreign investors purchased a net 117 billion won ($114
million) worth of KOSPI shares by late morning, poised to snap
an eight-day selling streak.
    "Considering the recent strong correlation between the local
and Chinese markets, a robust Chinese industrial output report
due later should lend further support," added Hyundai's Bae.
    Chinese industrial output is expected to have risen 8.9
percent in April, according to a Reuters poll. The data is due
out at 0530 GMT. 
    Technology stocks got a boost from overnight gains in their
U.S. counterparts. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd 
rose 1.5 percent and Naver Corp climbed 3.3 percent.
    Meanwhile, the won gained against the dollar and the
yen, supported by foreign capital inflows to the stock market.
    "In the big picture, the South Korean authorities are
expected to tame the pace of appreciation. However, the won is
rising a bit more than anticipated as foreigners pick up local
stocks," said Hyundai Futures analyst Lee Dae-ho.
    The won was quoted at 1,022.8 against the dollar
as of 0210 GMT, up 0.2 percent from Monday's onshore close at
1,024.4.
    Lee added that should the yen depreciate further, it will
rekindle concerns over South Korea's economy as it may
deteriorate exporters' price competitiveness against their
Japanese rivals in overseas markets.
    The yen-won cross bid as low as 9.9951, and was
bid at 10.0010 as of 0210 GMT, 0.2 percent lower than Monday's
close at 10.0272.
    
                       0210 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won            1,022.8       1,024.4
 Yen/won           10.0010/098       10.0272
 *KTB futures           105.92        105.95
 KOSPI                1,984.79      1,964.94
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
($1 = 1024.3500 Korean Won)

 (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Chris Gallagher)
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