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Seoul: Won slips on global oil price drop, stocks edge up

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won eased early on Tuesday and was expected to extend falls throughout the week as global oil prices declined, pressuring a basket of Asian currencies.

The won was quoted at 1,139.4 as of 0203 GMT, down 0.2 per cent compared with Monday's close of 1,137.0.

"Market expectations about the US Federal Reserve to open a door for a September rate hike is rising, which might drag the won down past the 1,150 won (per dollar) level," said Jung Sung-yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.

South Korea's second quarter GDP grew at an unexpectedly robust 3.2 per cent annual rate, driven by firmer domestic consumption and capital investment, but had little impact on the market since the lift was believed to be temporary.

South Korean shares edged up as foreign investors' stock purchases continued to support the main bourse.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.2 per cent at 2,015.47 points.

Offshore investors were poised to be buyers for 14 consecutive sessions, purchasing a net 60.1 billion Korean won (S$71.8 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

The world's No 2 memory chip maker SK Hynix Inc dropped as much as 4 per cent after its second-quarter operating profit fell to its lowest in more than three years, while the company strongly tipped a pick-up in the second half.

Shares of SK Innovation Co Ltd and S-Oil Corp both fell up to 2 per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 408 to 368.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.04 point to 111.12.