* Samsung Electronics touches lifetime intraday high
* Auto shares bullish on low valuation, fundamentals-analyst
SEOUL Dec 10 Seoul shares were up slightly on
Monday, supported by upbeat data from China and the United
States over the weekend and even as profit taking pared gains on
some recently strong issues.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ticked
0.25 percent higher to 1,962.33 points as of 0207 GMT. Foreign
investors were net buyers for the eighth session.
"The main board opened strong on positive economic data over
the weekend, but investors are taking profits in shares that saw
steep gains recently as uncertainties over upcoming events and
the U.S. fiscal talks return to the fore," said Lee Young-gon,
an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities.
Better-than-expected U.S. jobs data on Friday and strong
Chinese November factory output and retail sales on Sunday
raised hopes about the outlook for growth in the world's top two
The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee is expected to
announce a fresh round of Treasury bond purchases to maintain
support for the weak economy when it meets on Tuesday and
Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd,
the world's top smartphone maker, extended gains to touch a
lifetime intraday high of 1,506,000 won shortly after the market
open, before paring gains to trade 0.7 percent up.
Auto shares were also bullish, continuing their
trend of seesawing since late November's rapid gains on strong
sales. Hyundai Motor Co rose 2 percent while
affiliate Hyundai Mobis Co Ltd gained 2.6 percent.
"Investors are snapping up cyclical stocks on hopes that
positive U.S. and China data means the economic cycle will
rebound, and auto shares are preferred with their low valuation
and steady fundamentals," said Ahn Se-hwan, an auto sector
analyst at IBK Securities.
Declining shares outnumbered winners 413 to 343. The KOSPI
200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.4 percent, while
the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.1 percent lower.
(Reporting by Joyce Lee and Seong Chang; Editing by Jacqueline