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Seoul: Won edges up; still prone to falls as market remains unstable

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won recovered slightly early on Tuesday, despite an ongoing political crisis, after dropping more than 3 per cent over the past four sessions.

South Korean President Park Geun Hye was reported to have retained a lawyer ahead of being questioned by prosecutors investigating the political scandal engulfing her presidency.

The won was quoted at 1,169.6 as of 0302 GMT, up 0.2 per cent compared with Monday's close of 1,171.9.

"Investors believe that the won could slump again at any time as the market is still very unstable. Market participants are just hunting for bargains since the currency fell too much over a short-term period," said Jeong My Young, a foreign exchange analyst at Samsung Futures.

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South Korean shares edged down with the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) down 0.1 per cent at 1,972.84 points.

Offshore investors were set to be net sellers, offloading 39.2 billion Korean won (S$47.38 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Shares in Samsung Electronics Co Ltd rose modestly on Tuesday after the company agreed to buy US automotive electronics supplier Harman International Industries in an US$8 billion deal.

Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co Ltd rose more than 7 per cent responding to Samsung Elec's purchase of Harman.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 460 to 368.

December futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.11 point to 109.61.