February 25, 2014 / 2:46 AM / 4 years ago

Seoul shares at one-month high on Wall St, foreign buying

* Third session of foreign net buying

* Presidential statement gives index a nudge up

By Christine Kim

SEOUL, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Seoul shares climbed to a one-month peak early on Tuesday, getting a lift after Wall Street jumped to historic highs, while offshore investors snapped up local stocks.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.7 percent at 1,963.19 points as of 0217 GMT. It rose as far as 1,964.30 points earlier, the highest since Jan. 23.

“The current gains are coming amid an unstable global environment, raising the chances of today’s rise being a temporary one,” said Kang Hyun-gee, an analyst at IM Investment & Securities.

“Although attributed to harsh weather conditions, ongoing soft U.S. economic indicators along with liquidity concerns in China may gradually pull down the index.”

On Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 hit an intraday record while the Nasdaq was seen at a 14-year high.

As risk sentiment heated up, foreign investors were net buyers for a third session, snapping up 144 billion won ($134 million) worth of South Korean stocks.

A televised speech by South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday also gave a boost to sentiment as she announced a package of reforms with the aim of increasing the potential economic growth rate to 4 percent by 2017.

Advancing stocks outnumbered losers 450 to 338.

Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co Ltd inched up 0.6 percent after it debuted its latest smartphone, the Galaxy S5, and a new smart watch.

Internet content service operator Naver Corp soared 6.6 percent after Bloomberg reported that Japan’s SoftBank Corp was interested in buying a stake in its mobile-messaging service Line.

Hyundai Securities jumped 7.1 percent on media reports that state-owned Korea Development Bank has started moving in earnest to take over Hyundai Group’s three financial branches.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.7 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged up 0.4 percent. ($1 = 1074.5000 Korean won) (Additional reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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