(Updates to mid-morning)
* Tech, shipbuilding shares rally on foreign inflows
* Hyundai Motor volatile as union set for partial strike
By Jungmin Jang
SEOUL, Aug 20 South Korea shares rebounded after
a weak start on Tuesday as foreign buying of technology firms
and shipbuilders lifted the market, offsetting early weakness in
automaker Hyundai Motor Co.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained
0.3 percent to 1,922.74 points as of 0200 GMT, rebounding from
an intraday low of 1,909.08.
"Continuing foreign inflows stem from the market's firm
fundamentals, which stand out from the rest of the emerging
markets," said SK Securities analyst Ko Seung-hee, adding that
rising optimism over a recovery in the euro zone had also been a
factor in foreign investor demand.
Foreign investors were net buyers of 68.4 billion won
($61.32 million) worth of local stocks on Tuesday morning.
Ko added that the market faces downside risks in the coming
days from external factors such as the release of the U.S.
Federal Reserve's July meeting minutes on Wednesday. Any hints
of an imminent tapering of stimulus would be a drag, he said.
Technology shares rose, with memory chipmaker SK Hynix Inc
up 1.8 percent and market heavyweight Samsung
Electronics Co Ltd gaining 1.3 percent.
Shipyards Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Co and
Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd advanced 3.1 percent
and 1.6 percent, respectively, on expectations of stronger
earnings as the euro zone economy shows signs of life.
Hyundai Motor's shares were volatile as South Korean workers
prepare to stage a partial strike for two days starting on
Tuesday. Hyundai was up 0.2 percent after falling 1.5 percent
earlier. The shares of its affilate, Kia Motors Corp
, also moved in and out of positive and negative
Steelmakers Hyundai Steel Co and POSCO
, the third largest company in the index by market
capitalisation, fell 1.3 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively,
giving up some of their recent gains.
Decliners outnumbered gainers 464 to 282.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks rose 0.3
percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.1 percent
($1 = 1115.5500 Korean won)
(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)