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Seoul: Won drops as US dollar firms on strong US jobs data; stocks subdued

Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 11:53

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won fell more than one per cent on Thursday as the dollar firmed on strong US private sector payrolls, while investors waited for a ruling on President Park Geun-Hye's impeachment and a Fed policy meeting early next week.

South Korea's Constitutional Court will rule on President Park's impeachment on Friday at 11am (0200 GMT), a court spokesman said on Wednesday.

The won stood at 1,155.2 as of 0252 GMT, down 0.9 per cent compared with Wednesday's close of 1,145.5. The currency touched a low of 1,157.2 in early trade.

"Upbeat private sector jobs data did hike possibilities of Fed's rate increase next week, though the market players are waiting for additional data such as wage growth and new employment," said Jung Sung-Yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.

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The won is likely to strengthen if the court upholds President Park's impeachment as it would clear up uncertainties that have been lingering in the market, Mr Jung said.

"No matter what kind of decision comes from the court, the won will definitely show wild movement during tomorrow's session," Mr Jung said.

South Korean shares barely moved as investors held back ahead of onshore and offshore events.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was at 2,093.55, little changed from the previous close of 2,095.41.

Offshore investors bought 30.1 billion won (S$36.98 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session, and were set to be net buyers for a fourth consecutive session.

Chipmaker SK Hynix gained nearly one per cent, while steelmaker Posco lost nearly one per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers by 422 to 365.

March futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.02 point to 109.22.

REUTERS

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