(Updates to midday)
* Main bourse on track for 5th consecutive winning week
* Shipbuilders rise again on bullish earnings outlook
* Kumho Industries plummets on worry over creditors' share
SEOUL, Sept 27 Seoul shares climbed on Friday
morning as stronger weekly U.S. jobless claims data indicated
the country's second-largest export market was on firmer
footing, but an impasse in budget and debt talks in Washington
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.3 percent at 2,013.91 by 0210 GMT after reaching an intraday
high of 2,014.80.
Even with U.S. weekly claims for unemployment benefits
falling to a six-year low and South Korea's surplus in the goods
account standing as the second-largest surplus on record,
investors were cautious in their pursuit of riskier assets.
"South Korea's surplus showing matched expectations, while
the political showdown in Washington isn't allowing the U.S.
jobs claims data to be fully appreciated," said Hi Investment &
Securities analyst Lee Seung-joon.
Foreign investors positioned themselves as net-buyers,
purchasing 67.4 billion won ($62.69 million) worth of local
shares. Meanwhile, institutions offloaded 45.4 billion won worth
of local shares in the morning, poised to extend their net
selling spree to a 14th consecutive session.
Battery-maker Samsung SDI Co Ltd rose 1.8
percent, and was at one point up as high as 3.3 percent, buoyed
by better sales prospects for secondary batteries in the
emerging electric vehicle industry. It was also helped by high
expectations for curved batteries that the company CEO spoke
about at a launching event of Samsung Electronics' newest
Samsung SDI is on pace for a 15 percent weekly gain, its
highest since December 2011.
Shipbuilders rose for the second day on prospects of higher
earnings in upcoming quarters, with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co
Ltd and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co
Ltd rising 3.1 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
Samsung Heavy Industries Co Ltd also advanced 2.2
Kumho Industrial Co Ltd plunged 11.4 percent
after a restriction on the sale of 3.5 million shares owned by
the company's creditors were lifted late on Thursday.
Gaining shares outnumbered decliners 408 to 369.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks edged 0.3
percent higher, while the junior KOSDAQ rose 0.8
($1 = 1075.1000 Korean won)
(Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)