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Seoul: Stocks hit 7-week low, won slides on anxiety over North Korea

[SEOUL] South Korean shares slumped to a seven-week low on Thursday on foreign-selling amid anxiety over simmering tensions between the United States and North Korea, knocking the won currency to the weakest in a month.

Institutional buying managed to pull back the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) from intraday lows, but the benchmark still closed down 0.4 per cent at 2,359.47 points, its weakest since June 21. The index touched a low of 2,339.06 points during the session.

The market was hit hard on Wednesday as investors worried about the escalating war of words between Washington and Pyongyang.

Foreign investors sold a net 286.9 billion won (S$343.51 million) worth of Kospi shares though institutions bought a net 428.8 billion won worth.

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The South Korean won weakened to a four-week low, extending a selloff from the previous day.

The won was quoted at 1,142.0 to the US dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, the weakest close since July 12, and down 0.6 per cent compared to Wednesday's finish.