3 Min Read
* KOSPI up 1.6 pct
* Samsung Elec, LG Elec rise on departure of Apple's Jobs (Updates to mid-session)
SEOUL, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Seoul shares gained ground on Thursday as investors poured money into recently beaten-down shares, with tech heavyweights rallying after Steve Jobs resigned from his CEO position at rival Apple .
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 1.58 percent to 1,782.43 points as of 0315 GMT.
"I think it is too early to say we are on an upward swing," June Park, a market strategist at Meritz Securities.
Foreign investors swung to net sellers of a modest 11.7 billion won ($10.8 million), but were buying technology and transportation stocks.
Samsung Electronics , the world's No.2 maker of mobile phones and the largest counter on the KOSPI, gained 3 percent after Jobs' resignation.
"Jobs is a key force that led Apple's rally in the technology industry and his absence may revive some demand for other tech firms," Park of Meritz said.
LG Electronics , which is struggling to break into the fiercely competitive smartphone sector, also rose 2.9 percent.
Lee Dong-geun, fund manager at Heungkuk Asset Management, said institutions were slowly increasing positions in the tech sector that they had cut back recently on fears over another recession.
Institutions bought a net 66.9 billion won worth of stocks, focusing on technology and transportation issues.
Hyundai Motor continued to gain for a third straight sessions, jumping 5.3 percent, helped by news of a wage deal with its labor union.
Analysts said the wage pact, although still subject to a union vote, eased investors worries over possible strikes that had pressured Hyundai shares.
Food service-related shares gained after low turnout in a Seoul referendum on free school lunch programs signalled that a plan to provide free lunches for all schoolchildren is going forward.
Agriculture products supplier Silla SG Co Ltd once jumped nearly by the intraday limit of 15 percent and fishery products provider Foodwell Corp gained 4.4 percent.
The junior Kosdaq market was up 1.1 percent. ($1 = 1082.200 Korean Won) (Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)