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Seoul: Won inches up, stocks dip on North Korea, but LG Electronics climbs

[SEOUL] The South Korean won edged up on Tuesday but remained near two-week lows, while stocks dipped as global tensions remained high after North Korea's powerful nuclear test.

The United States said on Monday that Pyongyang was "begging for war" after the test on Sunday, and there were signs it is preparing further missile launches.

The won stood at 1,130.6 to the US dollar as of 0212 GMT, up 0.2 per cent compared to Monday's close of 1,133.0.

"Market players are betting slightly more on (global) economic sanctions rather than military ones for now, which is lifting the won," said Paik Seokhyun, a foreign exchange analyst at Shinhan Bank.

South Korean shares wobbled in and out of negative territory with the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) down 0.1 per cent at 2,327.53 points by late morning.

Foreign investors were poised to be net sellers, offloading 62.9 billion Korean won (S$75.41 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

While declining issues far outnumbered advancing ones by 552 to 232, LG Electronics rose nearly 5 per cent on high expectations about its new smartphone model V30. LG Display also climbed 5.3 per cent.

Shares of Korea Gas Corp lost 1.1 per cent and LG Chemical 1.2 per cent.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.04 point to 109.23.