* Investors await Samsung Elec Q4 guidance, BOK rate meeting
* Foreigners turn net buyers for first time in 3 sessions
SEOUL Jan 6 Seoul shares edged higher on
Monday, regaining some ground after hitting a four-month closing
low in the previous session, although the Japanese yen's
weakness and concerns about China's economy were keeping
investors cautious about local firms' earnings prospects.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.5 percent at 1,955.59 points as of 0257 GMT, after shedding
1.1 percent on Friday.
Analysts said the KOSPI may be forming a bottom after
sliding 2.8 percent last week, with shares of index heavyweights
like Samsung Electronics Co and Hyundai Motor Co
rising in early trade on bargain hunting.
Foreign investors were net buyers of 12.9 billion Korean won
($12.23 million) of shares, marking the first net inflow in
three trading days.
"A wait-and-see attitude is prevalent, with Samsung
Electronics set to offer its earnings guidance tomorrow," said
Hyundai Securities analyst Bae Sung-young. "Some brokerages are
also saying that there is greater possibility that the Bank of
Korea will cut interest rates at its policy meeting Thursday."
Though the won was down against both the dollar and
the yen in early trade on Monday, investors remained
concerned about local manufacturers' earnings prospects amid
expectations that Japanese currency's weakness will hurt South
Korean companies' price competitiveness and erode their profit
Meanwhile, a private sector survey showed that China's
services sector growth eased to its weakest in more than two
years, adding to signs of slowing momentum for the world's
second-largest economy and South Korea's biggest exports market.
But some analysts said the KOSPI looks oversold and appears
poised for a technical rebound, with valuations looking cheap.
E-Trade Securities said in a report that the 200-week moving
average of 1,923 should offer a bottom for the index and that
any further fall to around those levels should offer a buying
Shares of Hyundai Motor and Samsung Electronics were up 2.7
percent and 0.8 percent, respectively, on bargain hunting
following last week's decline on earnings concerns.
But construction firms Samsung Engineering Co
and Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co were down
5.1 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively, amid growing worries
that their October-December earnings will miss expectations.
Advancers outnumbered decliners 394 to 376.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.6
percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.1 percent
($1 = 1055.1500 Korean won)
(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Chris Gallagher)