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Seoul: Won rebounds on US dollar selling, stocks firmer

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won rebounded early on Tuesday as investors sold the greenback, taking profits after it strengthened sharply over the past two sessions.

The won was quoted at 1,118.5 as of 0206 GMT, up 0.7 per cent compared with Monday's close of 1,126.5.

"The won has been reacting to the dollar's movements most sensitively among Asian currencies recently, which would explain today's sharp rise," said Jeong My Young, a foreign exchange analyst at Samsung Futures.

She added that investors will turn their attention to a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, later this week for the won's next moves, although direct hints about the US Federal Reserve's next policy move seems unlikely.

The Jackson Hole meeting is to be held Aug 25-26, with Ms Yellen speaking late on Friday.

South Korean shares were calm as market participants took a cautious stance ahead of Yellen's speech.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.2 per cent at 2,045.23 points.

Offshore investors were expected to be sellers for the day, offloading a net 23.5 billion Korean won (S$28.4 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Web portal Naver Corp rose 1.6 per cent while S-Oil Corp fell 3.5 per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 419 to 356.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.02 point to 111.07.