UPDATE 2-Britain fines Pfizer record $107 mln for huge drug price hike
* Drugmakers dispute decision and plan to appeal (Adds Flynn reaction, more on generic drug price controversy)
* Panel maker LG Display among best gainer following Apple's jump
* Blue chip tech stocks advance ahead of U.S. shopping season
SEOUL Nov 20 Seoul shares were advancing on Tuesday as growing prospects for a political bargain to avert a U.S. fiscal crunch lifted overall sentiment, and tech stocks rallied on hopes of solid quarterly results.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ticked 0.5 percent higher at 1,887.03 points as of 0145 GMT.
"The KOSPI is likely to aim for the 1,900-mark today as investors hope for a resolution to the U.S. fiscal crisis sooner rather than later," said Uhm Tae-woong, an analyst at Bookook Securities.
U.S. equities gained for a second session on Monday, buoyed by a positive tone from Washington about tackling the fiscal crunch. Stronger-than-expected earnings and encouraging housing data also contributed to the market's advance.
LG Display, which supplies panels for Apple's popular iPhone and iPad, was the top performer among blue chip stocks, rallying 3.6 percent after the U.S. firm soared 7.2 percent on Monday.
"Of all the companies that supply to Apple, LG Display has the best terms, partly due to their technological know-how, said Lee Seung-chul, a sector analyst at Shinyoung Securities.
Other key exporters climbed ahead of U.S. shopping season that kicks off this Friday, with Samsung Electronics up 1.9 percent and rival LG Electronics also gaining 1.4 percent.
The gains were broad-based, with 527 shares advancing while 228 retreated.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.6 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ also edged 0.2 percent higher. (Reporting By Somang Yang; Editing by Eric Meijer)
TAIPEI, Dec 7 Taiwan's exports in November grew at their strongest pace in nearly four years, as global retailers stocked up on the island's hi-tech gadgets for the year-end shopping season, but analysts said momentum will fade as seasonal demand peaks.
JOHANNESBURG, Dec 7 South Africa's Steinhoff International is not looking at M&A deals in South America, the company's chief executive said on Wednesday, responding to a question about a possible acquisition of appliance maker Via Varejo in Brazil.