* Samsung Elec, Hyundai Motor rise
* Shipbuilders continue to slide on 4Q earnings concerns
* Institutional investors on track for 1st net buying day
SEOUL, Jan 13 Seoul shares rose on Monday
morning as a surprisingly weak U.S. jobs report revived
speculation the Federal Reserve would retain its loose monetary
policy for longer, bolstering risk appetite.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.6 percent at 1,951.00 points as of 0152 GMT after touching an
intraday high of 1,954.07. The KOSPI has failed to close out a
positive session since Jan.7.
"The surprisingly weak (U.S. nonfarm payroll) figures have
reversed the yen's slide and brought with it some speculation
about the Fed's next move," said Samsung Securities analyst Kim
Yong-goo. However, "with key U.S. index reports including
retail sales on their way, fluctuations in the market are
expected," he said.
U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose only 74,000 in December, a report
showed on Friday, which was the smallest increase since January
2011 and well short of the forecast in 200,000 jobs.
The soft report helped to halt the yen's slide, easing
concerns about diminishing price competitiveness of Korean
exporters, including the two largest components in the KOSPI.
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, which accounts for a
sixth of total market capitalisation, rose 1.3 percent.
Hyundai Motor Co, the second largest component
in the KOSPI, gained 3.6 percent. The yen's weakness has been
largely responsible for a 3.7 percent drop in the automaker's
shares so far in the new year.
Affiliates Kia Motors Corp and autoparts maker
Hyundai Mobis Co Ltd advanced 2.3 percent and 2.9
On the negative ledger, shipbuilders extended their losses
on worries over the October-December quarter earnings. Hyundai
Heavy Industries Co Ltd dropped 2.3 percent and
Samsung Heavy Industries Co Ltd slipped 2.1 percent.
Institutional investors purchased a net 16.2 billion won
($15.3 million) worth of KOSPI shares near midday, on track to
post their first net buying session of the year.
Advancers outnumbered decliners 412 to 339.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.8
percent, while the tech-heavy, junior KOSDAQ edged 0.4
($1 = 1061.3000 Korean won)
(Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)