* KOSPI halts week of losses
* Locals counter massive foreign sell-off
* Ten companies limit up, one limit down
* Samsung Elec down despite U.S. appeal win
SEOUL, Oct 12 (Reuters) - South Korean shares ended flat on Friday after an opening rise faltered in the face of relentless foreign selling.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) managed to close up 0.01 percent at 1,933.26 points, breaking a week of straight losses.
"The index tried for a rise today, bolstered by the gains in Chinese equities. However, this was hindered by large-scale selling by foreign funds," said Oh Tae-dong, an strategist at Taurus Securities.
Oh said that foreign reluctance to buy riskier assets will continue in coming months because of the uncertainty caused by the U.S. presidential elections and the "fiscal cliff" of automatic spending cuts.
Foreign investors dumped a net 290 billion won ($260.25 million) worth of KOSPI shares, but local institutions and retail investors managed to take up the slack, limiting KOSPI's losses.
Trading was haphazard, with 10 companies hitting the permissible daily rise of 15 percent, while one, Woongjin Holdings , fell by that daily limit.
Food and beverage companies showed a 4.2 percent bounce, leading the gains along with textiles and insurers. Machine manufacturers underperformed, along with builders.
Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics closed 0.6 percent lower, reversing early gains following a U.S. court decision to allow sales of its Galaxy Nexus smartphone.
Hyundai Motors and affiliate Kia Motors
also underperformed, both dipping 1.9 percent.
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks closed down 0.2 percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.9 percent higher. Move on day +0.01 percent 12-month high 2,057.28 14 March 2012 12-month low 1,750.60 19 Dec 2011 Change on yr +5.89 percent All-time high 2,231.47 27 April 2011 All-time low 93.10 6 January 1981
($1 = 1114.3000 Korean won)
(Reporting By Somang Yang and Seongwon Chang; Editing by Eric Meijer)
Keywords: MARKETS KOREA STOCKS/