* KOSPI on track for a sixth straight winning session
* LG Display, LG Innotek rise after Apple deal
* Institutions in longest net buying streak since 2008
By Jungmin Jang
SEOUL, Dec 24 Seoul shares crawled higher on
Tuesday morning, poised to finish stronger for a sixth straight
day, as bullish U.S. data raised hopes for a year-end boost in
Some investors, however, consolidated profits ahead of the
Christmas holiday which capped gains.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.1 percent at 1,998.77 points by 0200 GMT after hitting an
intraday high of 2,000.28, briefly regaining the psychologically
important index level. The KOSPI has risen 1.8 percent in the
past five sessions.
"Risk sentiment is gradually improving, backed by bullish
data across the globe and the hopes for a Boxing Day consumption
boost," said Hana Daetoo Securities analyst Chang Hee-jong.
U.S. consumer sentiment hit a five-month high heading into
the end of the year and spending notched up its strongest month
since the summer, brightening prospects for year-end consumption
that could lift the index higher.
On Monday, Wall Street closed at record highs on the back of
a distribution deal by Apple Inc and China Mobile Ltd
. South Korean suppliers to Apple benefited from the
deal as well, with LG Display Co Ltd and LG Innotek
Co Ltd advancing 1.6 percent and 2.9 percent,
Meanwhile, investors locked in profits on affiliates of
Hyundai Group, which soared in the previous session
after revealing a plan to improve financial structures. Hyundai
Elevator Co Ltd dropped 3.4 percent and Hyundai
Merchant Marine Co Ltd fell 1.3 percent.
Shares in KB Financial Group Inc fell 1.1
percent after Hyundai Merchant Marine said on Tuesday it would
sell 46.5 billion won ($43.84 million) worth of KB Financial
shares as part of its plan to improve its financial structure.
The top three KOSPI components also suffered from profit
taking, with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd dipping 1
percent while Hyundai Motor Co and POSCO
slipped 0.9 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.
Institutional investors purchased a net 108 billion won of
local shares, poised to extend their net buying steak to a 15th
consecutive session, their longest since August 2008.
Local stock markets will be closed on Wednesday for the
Christmas holiday and reopen on Thursday. The last trading day
for local stocks is Dec. 30.