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Seoul: Won, stocks step up on cautious Fed official's comments

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won and shares inched up on Tuesday after US Federal Reserve Vice-Chair Stanley Fischer offered cautious remarks about raising interest rates.

The won was quoted at 1,133.8 as of 0216 GMT, up 0.4 per cent compared to Monday's close of 1,137.9.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.2 per cent at 2,032.30 points.

Mr Fischer said on Monday that the US economy may face longer and deeper recessions if interest rates remain stuck at current low levels but added that raising rates is "not that simple".

Park Sung Woo, a foreign exchange analyst at NH Futures, said that the market seems to have regarded Mr Fischer's statement as being less confident about the state of the US economy, denting the greenback's current rally.

He added economic indicators released from the US in days ahead would determine the direction of the market.

Offshore investors were set to be buyers of South Korean shares for four straight sessions, purchasing a net 62.3 billion Korean won (S$77.55 million) worth of Kospi stocks near mid-session.

Chipmaker SK Hynix Inc was down 2 per cent while LG Display Co Ltd lost 1.8 per cent.

Decliners and advancers were almost even by 396 to 380.

December futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.05 point to 110.61.

REUTERS