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Seoul: Won up on profit-taking ahead of BOJ, stocks hold steady

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won edged up on Wednesday as investors sold the greenback and took profits, expecting that the local currency would strengthen when the Bank of Japan announced the outcome of its policy review later in the session.

The won was quoted at 1,115.8 as of 0155 GMT, up 0.4 per cent compared to Tuesday's close of 1,120.6.

The BOJ is expected to ease policy further, tweaking its bond buying programme and shifting its focus to negative interest rates, but the yen could firm if markets sense that it has nearly exhausted its stimulus options.

"The Japanese yen usually rises against the US dollar after its central bank meeting, which also supported the won. That's why the market participants are quickly selling the dollar ahead of BOJ's decision," said Park Sung Woo, a foreign exchange analyst at NH Futures.

South Korean shares were marginally higher, with the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) up 0.1 per cent at 2,027.41 points.

Offshore investors were poised to be net sellers, offloading 29 billion Korean won (S$35.42 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Shares of LG Display Co Ltd and Samsung SDI Co Ltd both rose more than 3 per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 414 to 370.

December futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.05 point to 110.74.