September 10, 2010 / 1:49 AM / in 7 years

Seoul shares hit 27-mth high on exporters, retailers

* KOSP breaks psychologically significant 1,800 points

* Gains led by exporters, retail stocks

(Updates to mid-morning)

By Jungyoun Park

SEOUL, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Seoul shares rose to the psychologically significant 1,800-point level and hit a 27-month high on Friday as stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data lifted key exporters such as Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) and LG Display (034220.KS).

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index .KS11 (KOSPI) was up 1.20 percent at 1,805.65 points as of 0127 GMT, topping 1,800 points for the first time since June 2009.

“The market is on a relief rally as key U.S. data, such as jobs and trade from the U.S., came out better than expected,” said Hong Soon-pyo, an analyst at Daishin Securities.

“The data gave the market more assurance about where the global economy is headed,” Hong said.

Gains were led by large-cap exporters as investors grew more optimistic about the economy.

Shares in Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), the world’s No.1 memory chip maker and the largest shares on the main KOSPI, rose 2 percent.

    Shares in LG Display (034220.KS), the world’s No.2 flat panel maker, advanced 1.5 percent, helped further by a brokerage ratings upgrade. UBS raised the global LCD sector to a positive stance and upgraded LG Display to buy from neutral. [ID:nWNAB4443]

    Brokerages gained as investor sentiment towards the sector was boosted by the market’s broader rally.

    Shares in Samsung Securities (016360.KS) rose 4 percent and Woori Investment & Securities (005940.KS) climbed 6.8 percent.

    Retail stocks continued rallying on the back of expectations for strong Chuseok holiday sales, analysts said.

    Shares in Lotte Shopping (023530.KS), South Korea’s biggest retailer that operates department and discount store chains, rose 4.2 percent. Hyundai Department Store (069960.KS) advanced 1.5 percent.

    Shipbuilders rose after firm gains in Baltic Dry Index .BADI, which tracks the cost of shopping key commodities.

    Shares in Hyundai Heavy Industries (009540.KS) rose 1.6 percent and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (042660.KS) rose 1.8 percent.]

    Reporting by Jungyoun Park; Editing by Ken Wills

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