(Updates to mid-morning)
* KOSPI takes breather after 1 pct fall previously
* Foreigners continue to buy local shares, but volume
* Q3 earnings affect Hyundai Glovis, LG Household, S-Oil
SEOUL, Oct 24 Seoul shares steadied early on
Thursday, as an upbeat manufacturing survey offset concerns that
China was tightening liquidity while foreign buying eased off
due to a strong won.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained
0.1 percent to 2,037.23 points by 0233 GMT after falling as low
"China cues basically cancelled out one another to allow
investors to take a breather," said Shinhan Investment &
Securities analyst Han Beom-ho.
Investors are concerned about growth prospects in the
world's second-largest economy after primary short-term money
rates rose on concerns the People's Bank of China was tightening
cash supply to ward off risk of credit bubbles and inflation.
However, worries eased slightly as a preliminary survey
earlier in the day showed China's manufacturing sector picked up
in October, while new orders marked a seven-month high to
suggest the economy may have stabilised.
Foreign investors, the main drivers of the KOSPI's rise in
recent months, were set for a 40th consecutive session of
buying. But investors only picked up a modest 43.3 billion won
($41.01 million) worth of local shares in the morning.
"As the won currency continues to firm, European funds that
are known to be short term have been exiting the market," said
Lee Eun-taek, an analyst at Dongbu Securities. "However, U.S.
investors are continuing to purchase local stocks."
Corporate earnings results for July-September put companies
in two camps. Reacting positively were Hyundai Glovis Co Ltd
and LG Household & Healthcare Ltd, which
posted increased operating profits from a year ago. Hyundai
Glovis jumped 7.3 percent and LG Household advanced 4.3 percent.
In negative terrain was S-Oil Corp, falling 2.6
percent. Earlier in the day, it said its third-quarter operating
profits stood at 25.2 billion, a 95.1 percent decline from a
Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor Co and LG Electronics
Inc fell 1.9 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively,
ahead of releasing their quarterly earnings.
($1 = 1055.9500 Korean won)
(Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)