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Seoul: Won bounces after sharp losses, stocks set for 4th weekly loss

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won rebounded on Friday after a recent sharp decline that was fuelled by expectations that the US central bank will raise interest rates in the next few months.

The won stood at 1,187.7 to the dollar as of 0221 GMT, up 0.3 per cent compared with the previous close of 1,191.7.

New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley's comments overnight added to expectations that the US Federal Reserve will tighten policy soon, although that had little impact on the won.

"Market participants' fear of a June rate hike had already been priced in on the release of April Fed meeting minutes, which reflected its hawkish outlook," said Jeong My-young, a foreign exchange analyst at Samsung Futures.

The won was on track for a third straight losing week.

South Korean shares lacked direction and trading volume was thin. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.1 per cent at 1,948.85 points.

For the week, it looked set to fall nearly 1 per cent, its fourth losing week in a row.

Foreign investors had offloaded a net 14.5 billion won (S$16.85 million) of KOSPI shares by late morning.

Tech firm LG Electronics Inc was down 3.7 per cent while screenmaker LG Display Co Ltd gained 4.1 per cent.

Advancers and decliners were almost even by 421 to 386.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.02 point to 110.23.

REUTERS