October 7, 2013 / 3:02 AM / in 4 years

Seoul shares sluggish on U.S. impasse; foreign inflows support techs

* Seoul shares seen rangebound until settlement in Washington

* Tech shares rise, buoyed by foreign buying

* Doosan Heavy gains after results out on Italian firm bid

SEOUL, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Seoul shares edged lower on Monday morning, failing to gain momentum as the U.S. budget standoff dragged on, although another day of foreign net buying helped tech stocks like Samsung Electronics buck the market weakness.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.1 percent at 1,994.78 points as of 0200 GMT, after rising to 2,002.61 earlier.

Uncertainty was heightened over the weekend after Republican House Speaker John Boehner warned the U.S. could be headed towards a default if U.S. President Barack Obama did not negotiate ahead of an Oct. 17 deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

“As the U.S. political woes continue, foreign inflows that entered the market via large-caps are seen being selective on shares,” such as technology stocks, said Chung Seung-jae, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities.

“Once the standoff is resolved, foreigners are expected to buy local shares aggressively,” he added. He said the fact that the KOSPI has stayed in a range near the psychologically important 2,000 mark signals that investors expect a near-term settlement in the standoff.

Foreigners were poised to extend their net buying streak to a 28th consecutive session in the morning, purchasing 55.1 billion won ($51.48 million) worth of local shares.

Among large-cap tech shares to benefit from overseas buying, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd rose 0.8 percent, LG Electronics Inc gained 1.5 percent and SK Hynix Inc added 1.2 percent.

Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co Ltd jumped 3.7 percent after it lost out in a bidding battle to buy Italian engineering company Ansaldo Energia, resolving uncertainty that had hung over the bidding for months. The South Korean shipbuilder said it will instead seek a “strategic alliance such as technological ties” with Ansaldo.

Samsung SDI Co Ltd rose 1 percent. The battery maker and Tesla Motors Co said on Friday that they are in talks about the South Korean company supplying battery technology to Tesla. Samsung SDI has risen 33.9 percent since July.

Decliners outnumbered advancing shares 502 to 261.

The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was flat, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.1 percent lower. ($1 = 1070.3250 Korean won) (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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