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Seoul: Won, stocks firm as upgraded economic outlook offsets regional tensions

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won ended at more than a one-week high on Thursday and stocks jumped after the Bank of Korea raised its economic growth outlook for this year, helping to offset worries about risks from North Korea.

The central bank raised its growth outlook to 2.6 per cent from the previous 2.5 per cent at a meeting earlier in the day, while keeping interest rates unchanged as expected.

US President Donald Trump's comments that the dollar is"getting too strong" weighed on the greenback, giving additional boost to the won.

The won stood at 1,129.7 against the dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, up 1 per cent compared to Wednesday's close of 1,141.4. It was the highest closing level since April 5.

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The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed up 0.9 per cent at 2,148.61 points.

While Mr Trump has put North Korea on notice that he won't tolerate provocative actions, and has sent a carrier group towards the peninsula, US officials have said his administration was focusing its strategy on tougher economic sanctions.