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Seoul: Won edges down from 4-month high, stocks weaker


[SEOUL] The South Korean won eased off four-month highs early on Tuesday, as the US dollar regained strength and investors awaited US economic growth data and the outcome of the Federal Reserve's meeting this week.

The won stood at 1,115.8 to the US dollar as of 0304 GMT, down 0.2 per cent versus Monday's close of 1,114.0.

"The won and the US dollar both showed one-sided movement recently and now finding the proper trading level," said Ha Keon-Hyeong, a foreign exchange analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.

He expects the currencies to keep to current trading levels ahead of US GDP data for the second quarter and the Fed's July meeting.

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South Korean shares also edged down as foreign investors continued to be net sellers of local equities. The index has risen for eight successive days and closed on Monday at a record high after parliament approved the government's supplementary budget.

South Korea raised its 2017 growth outlook on Tuesday, projecting economic expansion of 3 per cent from 2.7 per cent, but the upgrade had little effect on the markets as it was already priced in.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.1 per cent at 2,448.68 points. The index briefly touched another record high at 2,453.17 points as soon as the market opened.

Offshore investors were set to be sellers of Kospi shares, offloading a net 140.7 billion won (S$171.72 million) worth near mid-session.

Chipmaker SK Hynix dropped 1.8 per cent despite posting its biggest-ever quarterly operating income of 3.1 trillion won as investors took profit.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics also fell one per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 468 to 326.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.03 point to 109.34.