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Seoul: Won weakens; Samsung Electronics up 1% after Galaxy S8 launch

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won edged down early on Thursday, caught in conflicting currents from international markets as oil prices rose sharply, supporting emerging market currencies, while the US dollar made broad gains due to worries over Brexit.

The won stood at 1,115.9 to the US dollar as of 0237 GMT, down 0.1 per cent from Wednesday's close of 1,114.2.

"The greenback's strength is not hugely affecting markets as strong oil prices are supporting emerging currencies including the won," noted Jung Sung Yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures, even though South Korea is an oil importer.

Mr Jung added that the won will be trading narrowly throughout the session while the investors await US fourth-quarter GDP data coming out later in the day.

South Korean shares edged down as local investors sold stocks to take profits.

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The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.3 per cent at 2,161.33 points.

Offshore investors, however, were poised to be net buyers for fourth straight sessions, purchasing 46 billion Korean won (S$43.84 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Shares of tech giant Samsung Electronic rose over one per cent after its launch of Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone, the company's first new premium phone since its September recall of all Galaxy Note 7 smartphones equipped with fire-prone batteries.

SK Innovation rose 1.8 per cent following the global oil price rise.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 495 to 285.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.04 points to 109.54.


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