November 22, 2012 / 3:15 AM / in 5 years

Seoul shares resume climb on program trading

2 Min Read

* Samsung Elec up 2 pct, nearing peak price

* LG Elec recovers from Wednesday's sell-off

By Somang Yang

SEOUL, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Computer-generated program trading helped lift Seoul shares in the most subdued session in months, as investors stayed on the sidelines, awaiting the resumption of budget talks in the United States after the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ticked 0.8 percent higher to 1,898.48 points as of 0238 GMT, rebounding from last week's three-month low.

"Program trading is lifting the KOSPI because, on such a slow day, even a small volume can push the direction of the index," said Park Seung-young, an analyst at Taurus Securities.

Trading volume in the first hour of the session was the most muted since early August, while computerised buying in the first two hours of the session, at 159 billion won ($146.76 million), already exceeded the daily tally of such trades on Wednesday, according to data from the Korea Exchange.

Shares in Samsung Electronics rose 2 percent, continuing its climb to its all-time peak price of 1.418 million won hit in May this year.

LG Electronics reversed earlier losses, gaining 0.6 percent, after tumbling nearly 4 percent on Wednesday on market talk that the EU may impose bigger than expected fines for fixing prices of televisions.

Tech stocks were among the biggest gainers, with the semiconductor index rising 2.3 percent, while the IT index was also up 1.5 percent.

Hyundai Motor was the biggest loser among blue chip shares, as a strengthening won raised concerns over its profitability.

South Korean regulators warned on Thursday that they were ready to take action in the foreign exchange market to ease the pace of the won's gain.

Winning shares outnumbered decliners 456 to 303.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.9 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 1 percent higher. ($1 = 1083.4000 Korean won) (Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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