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Seoul: Won, stocks firmer; political scandal continues to play out

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won and shares were slightly higher early on Wednesday as they recovered some of the sharp losses sustained from the strength of the US dollar, while the influence-peddling scandal surrounding President Park Geun Hye and an old friend was still in focus.

South Korean prosecutors raided the offices of Samsung Group and the country's National Pension Service (NPS), the world's third-largest pension fund, as part of the probe into alleged influence-peddling by Choi Soon Sil, President Park Geun Hye's confidant.

The won was quoted at 1,174.4 to the US dollar as of 0233 GMT, up 0.1 per cent versus to Tuesday's close of 1,176.1.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.5 per cent at 1,993.99 points.

"Adjustments are going on in the market for second day, but investors still seem cautious to jump in," said Jung Sung Yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.

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Offshore investors were set to be net buyers, purchasing 47.9 billion Korean won (S$58.19 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Shares of Samsung C&T Corp fell nearly 3 per cent, affected by the prosecutors' raid on Samsung Group.

Chipmaker SK Hynix Inc rose more than 2 per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 490 to 304.

December futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.01 point to 109.26.


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