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Seoul: Won recovers from 14-mth low struck on govt comments; shares higher


[SEOUL] The South Korean won closed nearly flat on Thursday, bouncing back from steep falls that occurred after a top finance ministry official said the government will manage the local currency to move in line with the Japanese yen.

The comments from Vice Finance Minister Joo Hyung-hwan sednt the won tumbling 1.2 per cent to an intraday low of 1,096.8 per dollar, the lowest level seen since Sept 6, 2013.

The won later tracked a recovery in the yen, which had struck levels unseen in seven years.

The South Korean currency closed in domestic trade at 1,083.8 versus the dollar, a tad weaker than Wednesday's close at 1,083.6.

The won has now posted a six-day losing streak, weakening 3.5 per cent since Friday, when the Bank of Japan surprised markets by ramping up its bond-buying stimulus programme.

South Korean shares drifted higher on Thursday, as bargain hunters picked up exporters whose stocks had been rattled by fears that a rapidly weakening yen would make their Japanese rivals more price competitive.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) edged 0.26 per cent higher to close at 1,936.48 points.

Automakers outperformed. Hyundai Motor soared 5 per cent while sister firm Kia Motors jumped 6.9 per cent.