* Steelmakers lead market rise, heavyweight exporters weigh
* Won rises to near 6-yr high, poses concern for exporters
SEOUL, April 9 Seoul shares inched up on
Wednesday as steelmakers rallied on hopes of an improving
Chinese economy, but a sharp rise in the won dragged down
shares of automakers, weighing on the broader market.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.1 percent at 1,995.08 points as of 0245 GMT after touching an
intraday high of 2,001.15, briefly trading above the
psychologically important 2,000-point level.
"The International Monetary Fund maintained its outlook for
China's economic growth, providing merit in picking up
China-related stocks in steel and chemicals, while automakers
suffered from a sharp appreciation in the local currency," said
Tong Yang Securities analyst Cho Byung-hyun.
Steelmakers rose sharply on prospects of increased earnings
after Beijing acted to stimulate its economy last week and as
the IMF held its growth forecast for China at 7.5 percent on
Tuesday. China is the largest export market for South Korea.
POSCO advanced 4.1 percent and Dongkuk Steel
Mill Co Ltd jumped 3.6 percent.
But an over 1 percent jump in the won to a near
six-year against the dollar roughed up shares of exporters on
concern the currency's strength would erode their
Automaker Hyundai Motor Co, the second-largest
KOSPI component, dropped 2.8 percent, while affiliate Kia Motors
Corp declined 3 percent.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd fell 1.9 percent.
Offshore investors bought a net 205.6 billion won ($195
million) worth of KOSPI shares by late morning, headed for their
11th straight day of net buying.
June futures on three-year treasury bonds ticked up
0.09 point to 105.82.
0245 GMT Prev close
Dollar/won 1,041.9 1,052.2
Yen/won 10.2228/287 10.3309
*KTB futures 105.82 105.73
KOSPI 1,995.08 1,993.03
* Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
($1 = 1052.3500 Korean Won)
(Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Chris Gallagher)