SEOUL, March 13 Seoul shares eked out a small gain on Thursday as lower-than-expected industrial output and retail sales data from China rekindled recent worries about slowing growth in the world's second-biggest economy.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed up 0.1 percent at 1,934.38 points after rising as much as 0.7 percent earlier.
China's combined industrial output and retail sales data for the first two months of the year were both lower than forecast in a Reuters poll, with factory output rising by 8.6 percent year-on-year, the weakest annual growth rate in five years.
The China data were released just before markets closed in South Korea, which saw the KOSPI pare most of the gains.
Foreign investors sold a net 481.2 billion won ($934,200) worth of stock, while institutions and retailers were net buyers.
($1 = 1070.4500 Korean Won) (Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)