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Seoul: Won edges up, stocks ease; BOK policy meeting awaited

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won edged up against a struggling dollar on Thursday morning, but further gains were capped by caution ahead of the Bank of Korea's policy meeting.

The won was quoted at 1,165.7 on the greenback as of 0207 GMT, up 0.2 per cent from Wednesday's close of 1,167.6.

"The BOK is highly likely to hold rates this week but we should still watch out for the governor's comments about how it will take part in the process of ongoing corporate restructuring," said Jung Sung-yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.

The BOK is expected to keep interest rates on hold when it meets on Friday but may cut in June or July to improve economic conditions for ongoing corporate restructuring in the shipping and shipbuilding sectors.

South Korea's finance ministry said earlier this month that it aims to set detailed plans for the corporate restructuring of the country's shipping and shipbuilding sectors by end-June.

South Korean shares edged down in sympathy with weakness on Wall Street overnight.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.2 per cent at 1,977.10 points.

Foreign investors were set to be sellers, offloading 19.7 billion Korean won (S$23.1 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 451 to 331.

Screenmaker LG Display Co Ltd shares rose 2.5 per cent while tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd fell 0.7 per cent, set to mark three consecutive losing sessions.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds lost 0.03 point to 110.42.

REUTERS