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Seoul: Won down on cash outflow worries; stocks steady

[SEOUL] The South Korean won edged down early on Thursday, the expiration day for Seoul stock options and futures, which could prompt a sudden outflow of money over the session, especially with additional pressure from the stronger dollar.

The won was quoted at 1,131.7 against the US dollar, down 0.3 per cent compared to Wednesday's close of 1,128.5.

"Since the options and futures both expire today, it is the biggest issue today for the traders," said Kim Doo Un, a foreign exchange analyst at Hana Financial Investment.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.1 per cent at 2,360.89 points.

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Offshore investors were set to be sellers, trimming a net 67.7 billion Korean won (S$80.87 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

LG Innotek , which supplies parts for Apple's smartphone, rose as much as 4.7 per cent ahead of the new iPhone going on sale.

Shares of SK Hynix was up over one per cent, continued to gain after Toshiba said on Thursday it had agreed to step up talks to sell its chip business to a group including Bain and the South Korean chipmaker.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 495 to 290.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.01 point to 109.39.

Earlier in the session, credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's said that it sees no major short-term issues that could lead to rating actions for South Korea, with a war on the Korean Peninsula unlikely despite geopolitical tensions.