1. South Korea won jumps to a six-week high, stocks flat

South Korea won jumps to a six-week high, stocks flat

The South Korean won climbed to six-week highs early on Tuesday, as the dollar continued to weaken in global markets while a jump in oil prices improved investor risk appetite.

By: | Published: May 16, 2017 1:51 PM
The won was quoted at 1,118.1 against the greenback as of 0232 GMT, the highest intraday level since April 4.

The South Korean won climbed to six-week highs early on Tuesday, as the dollar continued to weaken in global markets while a jump in oil prices improved investor risk appetite. The won was quoted at 1,118.1 against the greenback as of 0232 GMT, the highest intraday level since April 4. It was up 0.5 percent versus Monday’s close of 1,123.6.

“The local currency gained strength following a strong Wall Street, which was boosted by the global oil price rise amid dollar weakness,” said Ha Keon-hyeong, a foreign exchange analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp. He added that it was doubtful whether the won would strengthen beyond the 1,100 won per dollar level as foreign investors seemed to be selling local equities while the Federal Reserve’s June meeting was also near.

South Korean shares wobbled after notching another record high right after the market opened as foreign stock-selling offset support from upbeat U.S. stocks. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.1 percent at 2,289.02 points, still hovering near its record intraday high hit on May 10 when it reached 2,323.22.

Offshore investors sold a net 65.9 billion won ($59 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session, weighing on the index. Tech giant Samsung Electronics rose nearly 1 percent while Korea Electric Power Corp lost more than 3 percent. Decliners outnumbered advancers 522 to 280. June futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.02 point to 109.35

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