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Seoul: Stocks edge down; won at 8-week high as strong GDP fuels rake hike talk

[SEOUL] The South Korean won rose to an eight-week high on Thursday as traders bet that the central bank will raise interest rates soon after robust third-quarter economic growth.

The won was quoted at 1,124.6 to the US dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, its highest since Sept 1 and up 0.3 per cent from Wednesday's close of 1,127.9.

South Korea's economy clocked its fastest growth in seven years last quarter, as global demand for the country's electronics more than offset the impact of regional geopolitical strains.

Gross domestic product rose 1.4 per cent in the third quarter from the previous quarter, preliminary numbers from the Bank of Korea showed, significantly beating the 0.8 per cent forecast in a Reuters survey.

South Korean shares edged down as the investors took profits after the benchmark index hit successive record highs for four straight sessions.

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The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed down 0.5 per cent at 2,480.63 points.

Foreign investors sold a net 35.2 billion won (S$42.6 million) worth of KOSPI shares on the day.


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