1. South Korea won weakens; Samsung Electronic shares up 1% after Galaxy S8 launch

South Korea won weakens; Samsung Electronic shares up 1% after Galaxy S8 launch

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 dollar made broad gains due to worries over Brexit.

By: | Updated: March 30, 2017 1:25 PM
South Korean shares edged down as local investors sold stocks to take profits. (Reuters)

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 dollar made broad gains due to worries over Brexit. The won stood at 1,115.9 to the dollar as of 0237 GMT, down 0.1 percent 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. 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.

The won was quoted at 1,117.2 to the dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, down 0.3 percent compared to Wednesday’s close of 1,114.2. It was the lowest closing level since March 24. South Korean shares dipped as local investors took profits, but losses were limited by continued stock purchases from foreign investors.The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed down 0.1 percent at 2,164.65 points. Offshore investors marked a fourth straight buying session, purchasing a net 88.5 billion won ($79.23 million) worth of KOSPI shares for the day.

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The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.3 percent at 2,161.33 points. Offshore investors, however, were poised to be net buyers for fourth straight sessions, purchasing 46 billion Korean won ($41.24 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session. Shares of tech giant Samsung Electronic rose over 1 percent 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 percent following the global oil price rise. Decliners outnumbered advancers 495 to 285. June futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.04 point to 109.54.

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