* Heavyweights like Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor
* Fed tapering concerns arise ahead of U.S. retail sales
* LG Display rises as Apple advanced overnight
SEOUL, Aug 13 South Korean shares advanced on
Tuesday morning on bargain hunting on heavyweights such Samsung
Electronics Co Ltd as well as steelmakers, but
caution ahead of the release of U.S. retail sales data may cap
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.8 percent at 1,900.41 points as of 0212 GMT, rising above the
psychologically important 1,900 resistance for the first time in
Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics gained 2.6 percent,
while memory-chip maker SK Hynix Inc gained 3.3
percent. Automaker Hyundai Motor Co advanced 1.8
percent and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp gained 1.5
Samsung Securities analyst Juhn Jong-kyu said the market was
rebounding as foreigners were seen bargain hunting with the
benchmark index having fallen 2.2 percent last week, primarily
through large-caps like Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor.
But the rebound may be capped as investors await U.S. July
retail sales data due later in the global day. If the data is
better than expected, this will intensify speculation that the
Federal Reserve will start cutting back its bond purchases next
month. Poor data, on the other hand, would raise concerns about
the global growth trajectory.
"There are no cues to further the upward momentum, which is
the main problem in the market," said Choi Kwang-hyeok, an
analyst at E-Trade Securities, adding that the upcoming data
will only drag down the market in either case.
POSCO gained 1.2 percent, and Dongkuk Steel
advanced 2.0 percent as China's cabinet unveiled on
Monday plans to support the smaller firms to bolster the
LG Display Co Ltd rose 2.1 percent after shares
of Apple Inc rose 2.8 percent after a report said the
company is expected to present its redesigned iPhone in
September. LG Display is a panel display supplier to Apple's
iPhone and iPad products.
Foreign investors bought a net 41.6 billion won ($37.37
million) worth of KOSPI shares, buttressing the main board.
Decliners outnumbered gainers 394 to 355.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 1.0
percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.1 percent