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Seoul: Shares edge up; won set to snap 5-day losing streak


[SEOUL] South Korean shares edged up and the won rose against the dollar on Tuesday, steadying after an adverse reaction in the previous session to the prospect of a Greek debt default, which caused the biggest stock market loss in a month.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.2 per cent at 2,064.62 as of 0231 GMT. Winners slightly outnumbered losing shares 406 to 388.

Some investors appeared to be taking the view that a last-minute deal might be reached on Greece.

"It seems both Greece and its creditors are engaged in brinkmanship, and they could eventually resolve the Greek issues, even though this situation looks serious," said Kang Hyun-gie, a stock analyst at Dongbu Securities.

Brokerage shares recovered a little from a near-two-week low marked in the previous session. The sub-index was up 1.1 per cent, with 17 out of 21 issues rising.

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LG Display Co Ltd gained 2.8 per cent, rebounding from its lowest level in more than a year. Hyundai Motor Co gained 1.1 per cent.

Foreigners were set to be net buyers, purchasing a net 25.5 billion won (S$30.7 million) of shares.

On the currency market, the South Korean won was set to break a five-day losing streak against the dollar. It was up 0.6 per cent at 1,118.8 per dollar, recovering from the previous session's 3-1/2-month low.

"The won to the dollar had already priced in the possibilities of Greece's default," said Kim Moon-il, a foreign exchange analyst at Eugene Futures, adding that the market was now turning to US job data later in the week.

"The market focus has moved to US rate hike issues, and the market expects the data will bolster the chances of a Fed rate hike this year," Mr Kim added.


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