* Foreign buying poised for 26th consecutive net buying day
* SK Hynix, Samsung Elec up on DRAM price rise
* Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors drop on disappointing Sept sales
SEOUL, Oct 2 Seoul shares gave up initial gains
to move within a narrow range on Wednesday morning, as robust
U.S. manufacturing data and strong foreign inflows helped to
offset investor caution ahead of Thursday's market closure.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
effectively flat, up just 0.2 percent at 2,002.41 by 0300 GMT
after hitting an intraday high of 2,012.82. Local markets will
be closed on Thursday for a public holiday and resume on Friday.
Though seen as likely to be short-lived, the U.S. government
shutdown is yet to make progress as U.S. President Barack Obama
and congressional Republicans came no closer to end a standoff
"With uncertainty in Washington ahead of our day off,
investors are cautious about building aggressive momentum," said
Tong Yang Securities analyst Lee Jae-mahn.
Meanwhile, according to an industry report on Tuesday, the
U.S. manufacturing sector expanded at its fastest pace in almost
2-1/2 years over September, inspiring confidence that South
Korea's second-largest export market is on a firmer footing.
Foreigners purchased a modest 52.7 billion won ($49 million)
worth of local shares in the morning.
Gains in the U.S. semiconductor index, fueled by a 9
percent price rise in DRAM memory chips since late August,
lifted memory chip maker SK Hynix Inc 3.2 percent,
while Samsung Electronics Co Ltd also rose 2.2
Earlier in the day Samsung's IT & Mobile (IM) section chief
told reporters that IM's third-quarter earnings will top
Samsung Electronics is to release its tentative third
quarter earnings on Friday, and will reveal the sales of its
newest Galaxy Note3 high-end smartphone next week.
Shipbuilders halted a two-day skid, with Hyundai Heavy
Industries Co Ltd and Samsung Heavy Industries Co
Ltd advancing 1.2 percent and 1.4 percent,
respectively. The sector fell 2.6 percent during the
two day skid.
Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corp
dropped 2.4 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively, on sluggish
September sales reports released on Tuesday.
The South Korean duo, once stellar performers in the U.S.
market, has been losing U.S. market share this year, as strikes
in South Korea exacerbated U.S. supply constraints and demand
cooled for its ageing models, analysts said.
"Kia fared worse than Hyundai in September because it
shipped fewer Soul cars from South Korea to the U.S. market
ahead of the U.S. launch of a revamped Soul later this year,"
Lee Myung-hoon, an analyst at HMC Investment & Securities.
Hyundai and Kia's part-maker affiliate, Hyundai Mobis Co Ltd
also fell 3 percent.
Gaining shares outnumbered decliners 580 to 230.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks edged up 0.2
percent, while the junior KOSDAQ also advanced 0.3
($1 = 1073.7500 Korean won)
(Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Additional reporting by Hyunjoo
Jin; Editing by Eric Meijer)