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Seoul: Won falls, dented by weak regional peers; stocks slip

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The South Korean won sagged early on Tuesday as weakness in major Asian currencies including the Australian dollar and Chinese yuan pressured the currency.

[SEOUL] The South Korean won sagged early on Tuesday as weakness in major Asian currencies including the Australian dollar and Chinese yuan pressured the currency.

The won was quoted at 1,136.7 to the US dollar as of 0234 GMT, down 0.5 per cent compared to Monday's close of 1,131.0.

"The greenback was moderately boosted by St Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard's comments, strengthening the dollar even more in the global market," said Jung Sung Yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.

Mr Bullard said on Monday that a single US interest rate rise would be all that was necessary for the time being.

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Mr Jung added that the won may weaken to 1,140 in the near term after third-quarter South Korean GDP data released earlier in the day left worries about downside risks in the fourth quarter.

South Korea's third quarter GDP rose 0.7 per cent from the previous quarter, with data showing the economy would have grown faster were it not for setbacks suffered by exporting giants Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Hyundai Motor Co.

South Korean shares dropped as foreign investors were net sellers, giving up gains from the previous session.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.7 per cent at 2,033.59 points.

Offshore investors offloaded 34.1 billion Korean won (S$41.79 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session, weighing on the index.

Chipmaker SK Hynix Inc, however, gained nearly 2 per cent as its third-quarter operating profit beat expectations, and market conditions were expected to be favourable for the firm during the current quarter.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 658 to 152.

December futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.05 point to 110.47, pressured by July-September quarter GDP data.

REUTERS

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