Seoul shares close up on techs, end two-week losing streak
* KOSPI lifted by blue-chips, bargain-hunt for laggards
* Samsung Elec at all-time closing high on record Q1 profit
* Builders, shipyards snap multi-day losing spells
By Joonhee Yu
SEOUL, April 27 (Reuters) - Seoul shares rose on Friday, propped up by blue-chip heavyweights such as Samsung Electronics , but gains were capped on persistent fears over the euro zone debt crisis after S&P downgraded Spain's credit rating.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 0.58 percent to close at 1,975.35 points, posting a 0.03 percent gain from last Friday's close to narrowly snap a two-week slide.
"While robust earnings in some sectors helped shore up confidence, investors are still nervous about increasing their risk exposure with an air of uncertainty over euro zone debt lurking in the background," said Lee Young-gon, an analyst at Hana-Daetoo Securities.
Standard & Poor's on Thursday cut its credit rating on Spain by two notches, citing expectations that government finances will deteriorate even more than previously thought due to a contracting economy and an ailing banking sector.
Index heavyweight Samsung Electronics rose 2.5 percent to post a four-day winning streak and an all-time closing high after the company announced a record $5.15 billion first-quarter profit.
Samsung Electronics' market capitalization exceeded 200 trillion won ($176 billion) for the first time on Friday, a weight of nearly 18 percent in the KOSPI index.
Among other tech shares, display and battery maker Samsung SDI soared 7.5 percent, while memory chip giant SK Hynix rose 3.1 percent.
Bargain bids targeted recent underperformers, helping shipyards and builders rebound after multi-day losing spells with Samsung Heavy Industries advancing 3.7 percent and Daelim Industrial gaining 3.41 percent.
Foreign investors were active bidders for a second day running, gobbling up a net 306.9 billion won ($270.09 million) worth of shares, the largest single-day net buying session since late March.
However, some analysts have cautioned that this latest surge in offshore funds could be short-lived due to tightened liquidity in European banks.
"Cash inflow from Europe was one of the main pillars of the equities rally seen at the beginning of the year, but with European banks undergoing deleveraging and mandatory debt restructuring, it's going to be difficult to replicate that rally in the near term," said Kim Seung-han, an analyst at HI Investment & Securities.
Turnover stood at 5.28 trillion won ($4.65 billion), a little lower than Thursday, while winning stocks outnumbered losers 422 to 394.
The large-cap benchmark KOSPI 200 index rose 0.73 percent while the KOSDAQ gained 0.52 percent.
Move on day +0.58 percent
12-month high 2,231.47 27 April 2011
12-month low 1,644.11 26 Sept 2011
Change on yr +8.19 percent
All-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011
All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981 ($1 = 1136.3000 Korean won) (Reporting by Joonhee Yu; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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