January 10, 2013 / 6:33 AM / 5 years ago

Seoul shares lifted by stronger-than-expected China data

* KEPCO up 3.2 pct after electricity price increase
    * Ssangyong Motor rises 15 pct after Mahindra investment

    By Joyce Lee
    SEOUL, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Seoul shares rose on Thursday to
end a five-session losing streak, as stronger-than-expected
trade data from China pointed to recovering demand in the
world's second-largest economy. 
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed
up 0.75 percent at 2,006.8 points. Blue-chips were mixed, with
Samsung Electronics closing up 2 percent after
falling 4.8 percent in five sessions as of Wednesday.   
    China's exports in December grew 14.1 percent from a year
earlier to hit a seven-month peak, data showed on Thursday,
rebounding from three-month lows and racing past market
expectations for a 4 percent rise. 
    "Strong economic data from China has served as a favorable
factor, lifting a sideways session that had been weighed by net
sales from system trading on this options expiry date," said Kim
Soon-young, an analyst at IBK Securities.   
   State-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO)
 rose 3.6 percent after South Korea announced on
Wednesday it will raise electricity prices by an average 4
percent from next week to reduce power demand and help KEPCO cut
losses.  
   Shares in Ssangyong Motor Co Ltd rose by the
daily trading limit of 15 percent after the automotive president
of parent company Mahindra & Mahindra said Mahindra
would invest $900 million over the next four years in products
to be developed jointly with Ssangyong.  
    Local retail investors bought a net 42.9 billion Korean won
($40.41 million) worth of KOSPI shares, buttressing the main
board. 
    Gainers outnumbered decliners 473 to 308. The KOSPI 200
benchmark of core stocks closed up 0.8 percent, while
the junior KOSDAQ rose 0.5 percent. 

          Move on day                +0.75 percent   
          12-month high   2,057.28   14 March 2012    
          12-month low    1,769.31   25 July 2012
          Change on yr               -1.2 percent
          All-time high   2,231.47   27 April 2011   
          All-time low       93.10   6 January 1981 
($1 = 1061.6250 Korean won)

 (Additional reporting by Seongwon Chang; Editing by Simon
Cameron-Moore)

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