Seoul shares gain for fifth straight session

SEOUL Oct 12 (Reuters) - Seoul shares reversed earlier falls to end up on Wednesday, posting a fifth consecutive session of gains supported by solid rises in automakers and brokerages including Hyundai Motor and Woori Investment & Securities .Despite Slovakia blocking a European bailout fund, the market largely viewed that as a minor setback, with analysts saying that overall rescue efforts in the troubled euro zone were not likely to be thwarted.”Policy expectation is still brewing and I do not think anyone seriously believes that rescue actions would be stalled because of Slovakia,” said Park Suk-hyun, a market analyst at KTB Securities.The parliament of tiny Slovakia rejected the expansion of a bailout fund to rescue the euro zone from its debt crisis on Tuesday, but international lenders said they were likely to grant a loan to Greece next month, buying time for a broader response.Foreign investors were buyers of a net 10.4 billion Korean won ($8.9 million) worth of stocks. Institutions purchased a net 218.2 billion won worth, buying for a fifth consecutive session.The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ended up 0.81 percent at 1,809.50 points.Automakers and auto parts manufacturers outperformed amid expectations for the approval of a free trade agreement with the United States.A U.S. Senate panel on Tuesday backed long-delayed trade pacts with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, paving the way for final approval.Hyundai Motor added 1.47 percent and Hyundai Mobis rallied 4.33 percent.Substantial gains in brokerages gave the market further support.Shares in Woori Investment & Securities ended up 5.91 percent and Samsung Securities rose 4.14 percent.Shares in SK Securities jumped 4.42 percent after the Korea Exchange asked the brokerage to clarify rumours top shareholder SK Networks was looking to sell its 22.7 percent stake in the firm.”Shares reacted positively over an expectation of a potential sales premium,” said Chung Bo-seung, an analyst at Hanwha Securities.An SK Securities spokesman contacted by Reuters dismissed the talk as “groundless.”Shares in talent agency SM Entertainment Co Ltd spiked 9.72 percent on local media reports that its star group Girls Generation planned to debut in the United States.SM Entertainment could not be reached for a confirmation.Shares in firms with interests in North Korea were buoyed after South Korea said on Tuesday it would allow 120 firms to restart building a joint industrial park in the North.Apparel manufacturer Shinwon Corp , which has production units in North Korea, climbed 1.27 percent.But retailers came under pressure after discouraging job data. South Korea created the smallest number of jobs in a year in September, nudging the unemployment rate higher off a three-year low and adding to signs of a slowdown in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.Shares in Lotte Shopping Co Ltd , the country’s top retailer in terms of market value, declined 2.16 percent.Elsewhere, airlines and tour issues were hurt as the local won currency turned weak.A weaker won dampens demand for overseas tours and makes the cost of importing jet fuel more costly.Shares in Korean Air Line fell 1.77 percent and Hana Tour finished flat.The KOSPI 200 spot index gained 0.79 percent to 236.66 points and the junior Kosdaq market rose 1.87 percent to 467.65 points.Move on day +0.81 percent12-month high 2,231.47 27 April 201112-month low 1,644.11 26 September 2011Change on yr -11.77 percentAll-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981 ($1 = 1164.550 Korean Won)

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