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Seoul: Won, stocks edge up as Fed minutes ease rate hike fear

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won and shares rose early on Thursday as the minutes of the US Federal Reserve's July meeting released overnight showed policymakers were split over the bank's next rate increase, easing market jitters from the previous session.

The won was quoted at 1,103.9 as of 0208 GMT, up 0.4 per cent compared to Wednesday's close of 1,108.3.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.1 per cent at 2,046.17 points.

"The conference at Jackson Hole next Friday is getting the spotlight since this is where markets may get definite clues about the Fed's next rate move," said Jeong My-young, head foreign exchange analyst at Samsung Futures.

The won will probably linger around the 1,100 level ahead of the conference, she added.

Offshore investors purchased a net 69.4 billion Korean won (S$84.9 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Tech giant Samsung Electronic Co Ltd rose more than 1 per cent to set a new intraday trade record.

Automobile manufacturer Hyundai Motor Co lost 1.5 per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 460 to 324.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.03 point to 111.07.