* KOSPI struggles to break through 2,050-point level
* Q3 earnings results lift LG Display, Samsung Eng
* Automakers, shipbuilders down on profit taking
SEOUL, Oct 18 Seoul shares ticked up on Friday
morning helped by a brighter global economic outlook and
persistent foreign investor demand, while some investors locked
in profits which capped gains.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) edged
up 0.1 percent to 2,042.94 points by 0235 GMT, struggling to
breakthrough the 2,050 point level, which is the upper limit of
a range analysts say the main bourse has been trapped within.
"China and U.S. data are solid but not enough to stir a
surprise rally, as much of the result has been already priced in
to the main board," said Hanwha Securities analyst Bae Jae-hyun.
China's annual economic growth quickened to 7.8 percent
between July and September, the fastest growth this year and in
line with expectations, China's National Bureau of Statistics
U.S. surveys provided confidence about the world's largest
economy as Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits
dropped from a six-month high last week and firms' optimism
about the future hit a 10-year high.
The main board was underpinned by offshore buying that stood
at 134.8 billion won ($126.75 million) in the morning.
Foreigners are on track to extend their longest buying streak to
a 36th consecutive session.
But with uncertainties in the economic outlook fading, some
investors took the opportunity to profit from stocks that had
Automakers and shipbuilders suffered from profit taking with
investors concerned about the recently stronger won
hurting future earnings. Hyundai Motor Co and
Samsung Heavy Industries Co Ltd declined 3.2 percent
and 3.8 percent, respectively.
The won traded as high as 1,060.1 per dollar, its strongest
since Jan. 22, but gave up some of those gains after an official
said the finance ministry was concerned the won's recent
movements might be influenced by offshore speculators.
With July-September quarter earnings kicking off, companies
that posted upbeat figures attracted investors.
LG Display Co Ltd, the biggest maker of
liquid-crystal display panels, gained 2.1 percent after
announcing its third-quarter operating profit on Thursday, which
increased 31 percent more than in the same period a year earlier
at 389 billion won.
Samsung Engineering Co Ltd rose 2.3 percent
despite posting an unexpected third-quarter loss earlier in the
day. The 746.7 billion won loss for the past quarter was seen as
a result of restructuring within the company.
Naver Corp rose 4.8 percent as its U.S. peer
Google Inc posted an impressive quarterly result,
enhancing hopes of a spillover effect.
Declining shares outnumbered gainers 407 to 364.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks edged up 0.1
percent, while the junior KOSDAQ gained 0.5 percent.