S. Korea won gains on offshore inflows, Q2 GDP eyed

Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:36pm EDT

* KOSPI sets record intraday level for the year

* S.Korea Q2 GDP, govt policy measures out Thursday

SEOUL, July 23 (Reuters) - The South Korean won rose for a third session early on Wednesday but most investors were in a cautious mood ahead of second-quarter growth data, the government's revised economic forecasts and policy measures to be announced the following day.

The local currency was quoted at 1,022.2 to the dollar as of 0214 GMT, up 0.21 percent from Tuesday's close at 1,024.4.

"Although expectations of policy changes, chiefly interest rate cuts, contributed to the won's fall (last week), a combination of increased appetite for riskier assets, gains in Asian currencies and continued foreign net buys in local shares are strengthening the won," said Son Eun-jeong, an analyst at Woori Futures.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was flat on Wednesday, quoted at 2,029.50 points as of 0214 GMT and up 0.03 percent from Tuesday's onshore close at 2,028.93.

Shares touched 2,035.24 points near mid-session, their highest intraday level this year.

Shipbuilders gained 3.6 percent with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co and Samsung Heavy Industries rising 5.3 percent and 4.4 percent respectively.

Daewoo Securities analyst Sung Ki-jong said the shipbuilding industry's performance was likely due to foreign investors unwinding short positions.

The Bank of Korea will release its estimates of second-quarter economic growth early on Thursday, likely showing the economy expanded at its slowest rate in more than a year on weak consumption and a modest recovery in exports.

Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan is also expected to unveil policy announcements on Thursday aimed to boost the economy.

Foreign investors purchased a net 62 billion won ($60.67 million) worth of KOSPI shares, and were poised for a seventh consecutive session of net buying. Retail investors offloaded a net 58 billion won, leveling the board.

Kia Motors Corp, South Korea's major automaker, fell 1.1 percent amid discussions with Mexico toward the opening of a new $1.5 billion auto plant, according to Mexican officials on Tuesday.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds edged up 0.11 percent to 107.09.

0214 GMT Prev close Dollar/won 1,022.2 1,024.4 Yen/won 10.0739/828 10.0936 *KTB futures 107.09 106.97 KOSPI 2,029.50 2,028.93 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds ($1 = 1022.0000 Korean Won) (Reporting by Lydia Lim; Editing by Stephen Coates)