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Seoul: Stocks, won weaken on fears Trump's plans bogging down

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[SEOUL] South Korean shares and the won weakened on Wednesday, pressured by a global selloff of riskier assets sparked by concerns that US President Donald Trump's economic and tax initiatives may be delayed.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.9 per cent at 2,159.75 points as of 0225 GMT, while the Korean won fell 0.4 per cent to trade at 1,125.1 per US dollar.

"Stocks aren't doing so well and that's also dragging the won down," said a foreign currency dealer at a local bank in Seoul.

Also weighing down equities were reports of fresh North Korean missile launches, which the governments of South Korea and Japan were trying to confirm.

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Foreign investors net sold 127.5 billion won (S$158.91million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 561 to 253.

Banks and brokerages suffered the deepest losses, all sliding more than 2 per cent.

Electricity and gas shares and wireless communications operators were among the few that showed meaningful gains before midday, rising 1.4 per cent and 2.2 per cent, respectively.

Hyundai Motor Co was down one per cent around midday after it gained the most in over 5-1/2 years on Tuesday on restructuring speculation.

The Kospi 200 benchmark of core stocks was down 0.8 per cent, while the junior Kosdaq edged 0.4 per cent lower.

REUTERS

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