Seoul shares touch a peak, then retreat on profit taking

Reuters

* KOSPI hits highest level since Aug 2011

* Foreigners set to extend net buying streak to 39 days

* Apple's new iPad lifts LG Display, LG Innotek

SEOUL, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Seoul shares touched their highestpoint in nearly 27 months, but then retreated back below anindex resistance level amid concerns the global economy remainssluggish.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up0.02 percent at 2,056.58 points at 0205 GMT. Early on, it hit2,063.28, its highest intraday level since Aug. 4, 2011.

While the disappointing U.S. jobs report pushed up mostmarkets, in anticipation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will notbe able to taper its stimulus soon, in Korea the data didn'thave a sustained impact.

Instead, the index remained unable to stay above 2,060,which has been the top level for more than two years.

"The main board is struggling to reach higher," said LeeJae-hoon, an analyst at Mirae Asset Securities.

U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 148,000 in September,much less than economists' estimates of 180,000, indicatingmodest growth in the world's largest economy.

With a grim outlook for October U.S. jobs data due to a16-day shutdown of the federal government, nine of 15 U.S.primary dealers surveyed by Reuters on Tuesday expect the Fed tobegin tapering its $85 billion-a-month bond buying programme inMarch.

Meanwhile, a Reuters poll forecast that South Korea willreport on Friday that gross domestic product (GDP) grew aseasonally adjusted 1 percent in July-September from theprevious quarter.

Foreign investors were set for a 39th consecutive session ofbuying, picking up a modest 56.7 billion won ($53.45 million) oflocal shares in the morning.

Suppliers for Apple Inc's product lines rose afterApple launched a new high-end iPad product, with LG Display CoLtd and LG Innotek Co Ltd gainung 2.4percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Korea Zinc Inc advanced 3.6 percent on prospectsof stronger earnings in July-September.

Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd soared 13.5percent on prospects of higher earnings and stable operationsafter announcing on Tuesday it had conducted a conversion issueworth 224 billion won.

Daelim Industrial Co Ltd dropped 4.6 percent,after it said its July-September operating profit declined 9.7percent.

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