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Seoul: Won wobbles on US dollar strength; stocks edge up to 9-month high

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won wobbled early on Tuesday as a rise in the currency, supported by Monday's Standard and Poor's credit rating upgrade, and dollar strength offset each other.

The won was quoted at 1,108.7 as of 0217 GMT, little changed from Monday's close of 1,108.3. It climbed as high as 1,105.8 earlier today, its strongest level since June 25, 2015.

"The won is not responding that much to the current dollar strength as foreigners keep coming in to buy local stocks. These movements are leading market expectations that the won would not fall easily," said Jeong My Young, a foreign exchange analyst at Samsung Futures.

She added that the won will hold around 1,100 though, which seemed to be the level that the foreign exchange authorities want to prevent one-sided movements.

South Korean shares nudged up on foreign investors' stock purchases.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.2 per cent at 2,035.89 points, its highest since Nov 27, 2015.

Offshore investors bought a net 77.1 billion Korean won (S$93.79 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session, buttressing the index.

LG Electronics Inc rose 1.3 per cent while Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd gained 3.1 per cent.

Advancers outnumbered decliners by 409 to 367.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.01 point to 111.02.