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Seoul: Won edges down on government warnings, stocks flat

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won eased on Thursday as traders grew cautious about prospects for further gains after the government issued verbal warnings about the market's moves for the second day in a row.

The won was quoted at 1,093.8 as of 0159 GMT, down 0.4 per cent from Wednesday's close of 1,090.0.

Foreign exchange authorities said the won has been more volatile than other Asian currencies and that they are watching the situation very closely.

"Some bargain hunters are coming in at the 1,090 level, bringing additional pressure on the won," said Jeong My Young, a foreign exchange analyst at Samsung Futures.

She said that traders were also awaiting a European Central bank meeting later in the day and the Bank of Korea's meeting on Friday for possible clues on currency direction.

South Korean shares dipped in line with other Asian equity markets, with the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) down 0.1 per cent at 2,058.88 points.

Offshore investors were set to break a four-day buying streak, selling a net 20.8 billion Korean won (S$25.64 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Chipmaker SK Hynix Inc rose 1.4 per cent while web portal Naver Corp dropped 2 per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 523 to 259.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds were unchanged at 110.88.