November 23, 2012 / 2:55 AM / 5 years ago

Seoul shares inch up; Samsung Elec posts record high

* Samsung Elec extends gains to reach intra-day record high

* Hyundai Motor up on solid U.S. November sale forecasts

By Joyce Lee

SEOUL, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Seoul shares edged higher in the morning trading session on Friday led by tech heavyweight Samsung Electronics which extended its record run on expectations of strong earnings.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ticked 0.3 percent higher to 1,905.41 points as of 0217 GMT.

“The index appears locked in a grappling tug-of-war near the 1,900-mark in the absence of a clear upside momentum,” said Kim Jung-hwan, an analyst at KDB Daewoo Securities.

Shares in Samsung Electronics Co Ltd set a new intra-day high after rising more than 0.5 percent during trading near mid-session.

The world’s biggest smartphone maker with a market capitalisation of around 209 trillion won ($192.5 billion), had previously peaked at 1.418 million won per share in May and has climbed more than 30 percent since its recent low hit in early July.

On Thursday, Samsung Electronics closed at a record-high on favourable sales outlooks for its smartphones and tablet PCs in the year-end shopping season.

Asian shares marked time on Friday but were on course for a weekly gain of nearly 2 percent, after manufacturing surveys from China and the United States raised hopes that the global growth outlook is improving.

Auto shares were up across the board in Seoul, led by a 3 percent gain by Hyundai Motor Co after shares in the automaker lost ground or remained flat for the past four sessions.

“Hyundai Motor is expected to report solid U.S. sales in November, with seasonally adjusted annualised auto sales hitting their highest level since February of 2008,” said Chung Tae-oh, auto sector analyst at Daishin Securities.

Shares in energy-to-telecommunications SK Group units fell as prosecutors asked for a four-year prison term for the SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won late on Thursday on embezzlement charges.

SK Innovation Co Ltd slid 0.6 percent, while SK Chemicals Co Ltd fell 1.9 percent. The final ruling is expected in late December.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.4 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ traded flat. ($1 = 1085.5500 Korean won) (Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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