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Seoul: Won up on renewed risk demand, stocks edge down

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won edged up on Tuesday morning, recovering from two days of sharp declines as global oil prices and US stocks strengthened overnight, boosting investor demand for riskier assets.

The won traded at 1,173.4 per dollar as of 0207 GMT, up 0.5 per cent compared to Monday's close of 1,179.7.

Jung Sung-yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures, said the release of the US consumer price index later on Tuesday could halt the won's recovery if it signals an increased chance of a Federal Reserve rate increase.

"It may refresh the market's expectations about the US Federal Reserve's future rate hikes, putting pressure on the won for tomorrow," Mr Jung said.

South Korean shares edged down as foreign investors and domestic institutions took profits.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.1 per cent at 1,966.09 point.

Offshore investors were set to be net sellers, offloading 44.1 billion Korean won (S$51.37 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session, weighing on the index.

Shares in steelmaker Posco were down to a two-month low earlier in the session, but pared some losses to trade down 1.7 per cent. Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd rose 0.6 per cent, set to break its five-day losing streak.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 517 to 279.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.02 point to 110.35.

REUTERS