* KEPCO up 3.2 pct after electricity price increase
* Ssangyong Motor rises 15 pct after Mahindra investment
SEOUL Jan 10 Seoul shares rose after trading
flatly on Thursday morning, lifted by bullish trade data from
China showing recovering demand from the world's second-largest
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ticked
0.56 percent higher to 2,003.0 points as of 0235 GMT, after
treading water for most of the morning.
"In the absence of market-moving news and trading flow
somewhat stemmed by investors exercising caution on options
expiry date, data from China buoyed the main index near
mid-session," said Lim Dong-rak, an analyst at Hanyang
China's exports in December grew 14.1 percent from a year
earlier to hit a seven-month peak, data showed on Thursday,
rebounding from three-month lows and racing past market
expectations for a 4 percent rise.
Blue-chips were mixed, with Samsung Electronics
up 1.5 percent after falling 4.8 percent in five sessions as of
State-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO)
rose 3.2 percent near the mid-session after South
Korea announced it will raise electricity prices by an average 4
percent from next week to reduce power demand and help KEPCO cut
Shares in Ssangyong Motor rose by the daily
trading limit of 15 percent after the automotive president of
parent company Mahindra & Mahindra said Mahindra would
invest $900 million over the next four years in products to be
developed jointly with Ssangyong.
Local retail and foreign investors purchased a net 80
billion won ($75.36 million) worth of KOSPI shares near the
mid-session, lifting the index.
Gaining shares outnumbered decliners 413 to 339.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.6
percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.3 percent
($1 = 1061.6250 Korean won)
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)