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Seoul: Stocks, won take a breather; ECB awaited

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South Korean shares and the won trod water early on Thursday as investors were uncertain whether the European Central Bank would opt to tighten or ease at a policy meeting due to conclude later in the global day.

[SEOUL] South Korean shares and the won trod water early on Thursday as investors were uncertain whether the European Central Bank would opt to tighten or ease at a policy meeting due to conclude later in the global day.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.1 per cent at 2,043.20 points as of 0215 GMT, enough to leave it set to post gains for a fifth straight session.

The South Korean won stood at 1,122.6 against the US dollar, up 0.1 per cent compared to Wednesday's close of 1,123.2.

Cho Byung Hyun, a stock analyst at Yuanta Securities, said that given the likelihood that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December any move by the ECB to tighten policy now would probably reduce the amount of funds available for investment in emerging markets like South Korea.

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He said that would cool sentiment toward the market, at least for the short term.

Offshore investors were poised to be buyers, purchasing a net 26.3 billion Korean won (S$32.5 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Shares of SK Innovation Co Ltd rose nearly one per cent and S-Oil Corp 1.6 per cent as global oil prices rose.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 410 to 364.

December futures on three-year treasury bonds were unchanged at 110.59.

REUTERS

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