* Chemicals lead, SK Innovation up 4.5 pct
* Steels and metals up on firmer gold price
* Hyundai, Kia up ahead of earnings
By Somang Yang
SEOUL, April 25 (Reuters) - South Korean shares edged higher on Thursday morning as higher global gold and oil prices helped drive a rebound in metal and chemicals stocks.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ticked 0.5 percent higher at 1,945.16 points as of 0255 GMT.
“Fund managers talk of rebalancing their portfolios away from being too tech-heavy. Oil and chemicals are attractive because shares are very cheap,” said Yoo Young-kook.
Chemicals were leading the index’s gains, with refiner SK Innovation up 4.5 percent after oil prices rose.
Firmer gold prices buoyed the steels and metals sub-index which rose 2.5 percent, rebounding from recent losses. Korea Zinc was up 4 percent.
Shares in Hyundai Motor were trading up 2.4 percent ahead of reporting what is expected to be a second quarterly profit drop. Analysts said the market was now looking to improving sales in the April-June period.
Affiliate Kia Motors rose 3.2 percent on a media report that the two carmakers planned to build a new plant in the United States. Kia has denied the report.
Overall, 417 shares advanced while 368 declined.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.6 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.1 percent lower. (Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)