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[SEOUL] South Korean won held to a tight range early on Thursday as broad risk appetite sparked by a rise in oil prices was offset by stock dividend repatriation.
The local currency stood at 1,156.1 per US dollar, unchanged from Wednesday's close of 1,156.1.
"We're seeing especially one custodian bank dump the won in efforts to repatriate dividend payouts from South Korean shares," said one foreign bank dealer in Seoul.
The stock market was dragged down by investors taking profits from heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd after the tech giant's first-quarter operating profit guidance beat expectations.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was off 0.3 per cent at 1,965.20 points as of 0240 GMT.
Samsung Elec's shares, down 1.9 per cent, currently make up 19.1 per cent of the Kospi's worth.
Foreign investors were set to be net buyers on Thursday, and purchased 42.4 billion Korean won (S$49.39 million) worth of KOSPI shares so far.
Screenmaker LG Display Co Ltd gained 3.7 per cent and Naver Corp was up 3.5 per cent.
Advancing stocks nudged of decliners by 403 to 392.
June futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.04 point to 110.29.