The South Korean won early on Monday jumped more than 1 percent to a one-week high, as the dollar weakened from political turmoil engulfing US President Donald Trump. The won was quoted at 1,115.0 against the dollar as of 0248 GMT, up 1.1 percent compared to the previous close of 1,127.2.
The dollar tumbled on renewed concerns about Trump’s presidency, following two new media reports of possible coordination between Russia and Trump’s election campaign.
Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by Trump amid an agency probe into alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election, has agreed to testify before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee at a public hearing scheduled sometime after May 29.
Paik Seokhyun, a foreign exchange analyst at Shinhan Bank, said the won would likely trade in a tight range ahead of Comey’s testimony. South Korean shares also edged up on purchases from foreign investors.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.4 percent at 2,297.04 points. Offshore investors were set to be net buyers, purchasing 81.5 billion won ($73 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session, buttressing the index. The sub-index for iron, steel, and metal was up 3.2 percent, on expectations higher steel prices would translate into better company profits.
Posco was up nearly 5 percent and Hyundai Steel Co up 4.3 percent. Decliners outnumbered advancers 403 to 385. June futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.06 point to 109.46.