1. S Korea won advances to 5-mth high on dollar weakness; stocks slip

S Korea won advances to 5-mth high on dollar weakness; stocks slip

The South Korean won strengthened for a fourth straight session early on Monday, touching a five-month high as the greenback slipped further following the Federal Reserve's less hawkish comments last week.

By: | Published: March 20, 2017 8:58 AM
The won stood at 1,126.7 as of 0233 GMT, up 0.4 percent compared to Friday’s close of 1,130.9. (Reuters)

The South Korean won strengthened for a fourth straight session early on Monday, touching a five-month high as the greenback slipped further following the Federal Reserve’s less hawkish comments last week. The won stood at 1,126.7 as of 0233 GMT, up 0.4 percent compared to Friday’s close of 1,130.9. It was the currency’s highest intraday level since Oct. 20. Jeong My-young, a foreign exchange analyst at Samsung Futures, said the won is on track to post its best gains in months with few events this week likely to disrupt this.

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“Foreign investors’ demand for local equities will play a great role in deciding the won’s direction amid the absence of market momentum,” added Jeong. South Korean shares edged down as investors took profits after local stocks surged to a near two-year closing high last week. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.5 percent at 2,153.26 points. Offshore investors were set to snap their ten-day buying spree, offloading a net 67.7 billion Korean won ($60.11 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session, weighing on the index. Decliners outnumbered gainers 586 to 219.

Netmarble Games Corp, South Korea’s largest mobile game company, said on Monday it plans an initial public offering (IPO) worth up to 2.66 trillion won ($2.35 billion) in what could be the country’s second-largest listing ever. Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics dropped nearly 1 percent, snapping its five-day rally. Lotte Shopping fell 3.4 percent. March futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.01 point to 109.68.

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