* Foreign buying renewed after two selling sessions
* Exporters win favour, defensives lag
SEOUL May 14 Seoul shares rose on Tuesday helped by a return in foreign investors and a solid rebound in auto and technology stocks, including Hyundai Motor and LG Electronics.
"Renewed foreign investor buying, encouraged by U.S. retail sales data, is boosting the market today," said Cho Seong-joon, a market analyst at NH Investment & Securities.
Cho added, however, that foreign money flows may change direction at any time, as the Vanguard Group related share sale is yet to be concluded in late June.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index was up 1.16 percent at 1,971.27 points as of 0130 GMT.
Foreign investors were buyers of a net 95.7 billion won worth of stocks after two sessions of selling.
Data showed that U.S. retail sales unexpectedly rose in April, pointing to underlying strength in the economy.
Exporters rallied, with Kia Motors, which was the second most-heavily traded share on the main KOSPI, rising 4 percent.
Morgan Stanley was a top buyer of the shares.
Hyundai Motor shares rose 2.9 percent, poised to snap two sessions of falls, and LG Electronics advanced 2.4 percent.
Shares in Woongjin Group-related companies jumped after the Korea Exchange asked LG Chem late on Monday to clarify rumors of its interest in Woongjin Chemical.
Shares in Woongjin Holdings Co Ltd spiked 11 percent, while those in Woongjin Energy gained 3.2 percent.
Woongjin Chem shares are currently suspended from trading due to ongoing share consolidation.
LG Chem said it has mulled taking over Woongjin Chem but has not made any decision yet.
Defensive issues underperformed as demand for safer bets waned.
Shares in Lotte Chilsung, a beverage maker, fell 1.4 percent and KT&G, a tobacco-to-ginseng company, declined 0.4 percent. (Reporting by Jungyoun Park; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)