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Seoul: Won rebounds on US dollar weakness, stocks edge down

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won firmed on Wednesday morning and looked set to snap a three-day losing streak as weaker-than-expected US economic data put broad pressure on the US dollar.

The won stood at 1,144.6 to the US dollar, up 0.6 per cent compared with Tuesday's close of 1,151.0 as of 0217 GMT.

"The won seems to be bouncing from its recent losses while reacting to the greenback's decline on the back of weak US data," said Jung Sung-yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.

Increased US dollar supply in the market ahead of month-end may also be helping the won's rise, he added.

South Korean shares nudged lower, extending their recent zigzag pattern caused by investor wariness ahead of the outcome of US Federal Reserve's policy meeting, due at 1800 GMT.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.2 per cent at 2,015.43 points.

Foreign investors looked set to extend their buying streak for another day, having purchased 75.9 billion Korean won (S$89.6 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session. They have been buyers for the past ten days.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 462 to 326.

Screenmaker LG Display Co Ltd was down 1.7 per cent after its first-quarter operating profit fell 95 per cent from a year ago.

LG Household & Healthcare Ltd rose 3.4 per cent on the back of surprisingly strong first-quarter results released late Wednesday.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.02 point to 110.35.

REUTERS