Seoul shares seen gaining on U.S. data after holiday

SEOUL, Oct 2 (Reuters) - South Korean stocks are set to begin the last quarter of this year on a positive note on Tuesday after a three-day holiday, buoyed by a surprise expansion in U.S. manufacturing.

Analysts said focus would be on Samsung Electronics

, which is expected to announce its earnings estimates for the July-September period on Friday.

"Investors will remain on the fence while checking the direction of the global economy and corporate earnings such as Samsung Electronics," said Jeff Kim, an analyst at Kyobo Securities.

U.S. manufacturing grew slightly last month for the first time since May but euro zone factories suffered their worst quarter since early 2009 and factory activity in China also contracted.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)

rose

0.4 percent to 1,996.21 points on Friday.

South Korean stock markets will close again on Wednesday for a holiday. -------------------MARKET SNAPSHOT @21:40 GMT----------------

INSTRUMENT LAST PCT CHG NET CHG S&P 500 1,444.49 0.27% 3.820 USD/JPY 77.97 -0.01% -0.010 10-YR US TSY YLD 1.618 -- -0.015 SPOT GOLD $1,771.53 0.05% 0.840 US CRUDE $92.48 0.31% 0.290 DOW JONES 13515.11 0.58% 77.98 ASIA ADRS

120.39 0.04% 0.05 ------------------------------------------------------------->Wa l St kicks off October with modest gains

>Bond prices up as stocks fade

>U.S. dollar,yen slide as data fuels safe-haven exit

>Oil ends down on weak growth signals in Europe,Asia

---STOCKS TO WATCH--- **POSCO **

A consortium including Noble Group

and POSCO urged Arrium

directors to continue discussions on Monday after the Australian miner and steel maker rejected a A$1.01 billion ($1.04 billion) takeover offer.

**SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS **

A U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday that a lower court should reconsider a sales ban against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 won by Apple in a patent dispute with the South Korean electronics maker.

Samsung is also expected to release its earnings estimates for the July-September period on Friday.

**HYUNDAI MOTOR , KIA MOTORS **

Hyundai Motor saw its vehicle sales in France surge 47 percent in September year-on-year and affiliate Kia Motors posted a 9 percent rise, bucking the market's 18 percent slump and outgrowing rivals, according to data from France's CCFA auto industry association released on Monday.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

((hyunjoo.jin@thomsonreuters.com)(82-2-3704-5685)(Reuters

Messaging: hyunjoo.jin.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MARKETS KOREA STOCKS/