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Seoul: Won at lowest since July before US election, shares down
[SEOUL] The South Korean won and shares fell sharply early on Wednesday as investors shunned risk amid increased uncertainty about next week's US presidential election, which put pressure on most emerging markets.
The won stood at 1,151.6 to the US dollar as of 0237 GMT, down one per cent from Tuesday's close of 1,139.9 and at its lowest level since July 12.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi), which has fallen the past three days, was down 1.4 per cent at 1,979.59 points.
Jeon Seung Ji, a foreign exchange analyst at Samsung Futures, said that the currency would trade at around the 1,150 level during the session.
She added that US employment data due on Friday would offer clues for the won's future movement.
Markets were little affected by Wednesday morning's announcement in Seoul of a new prime minister and finance minister for South Korea.
Offshore investors were on track to be small net buyers of Korean shares.
Steelmaker Posco was down 2.3 per cent while SK Hynix Inc lost 3.1 per cent.
Decliners far outnumbered advancers 779 to 64.
December futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.07 point to 110.32.