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Seoul: Won erases loss and closes up; shares fall for a 3rd day

Seoul shares reversed early losses to close at a three-week high on Thursday as recently undervalued shares extended gains, while foreigners continuously offloaded local stocks.

[SEOUL] The South Korean won reversed an early loss and edged up on Tuesday, with traders suspecting intervention by foreign exchange authorities to curb the currency's sharp fall after it touched a five-year low in the morning.

Also helping the won were demands for it by local exporters'demands settlements.

The won closed local trade up 0.2 per cent to 1,200.9 per dollar. It slipped as much as 0.4 per cent to 1,208.8 early in the session, reaching the lowest intraday level since July 22, 2010.

Yuna Park, a foreign-exchange analyst at Dongbu Securities, said market participants sensed that it was time to effectively intervene by the authorities to trim the won's fall as additional dollar demand linked to the recently-announced sale of Homplus was not seen.

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On the stock market, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ended down 0.2 per cent to 1,878.7 points on persistent foreign selling of local shares, which fell for a third consecutive session.

Foreigners were net sellers for a 24th straight day, the longest such streak since July 2008. During that period, they have sold a net 4.94 trillion won (S$5.87 billion) of shares on the main board, preliminary data showed.