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Seoul: Won flat, stocks down ahead of Fed decision


[SEOUL] The South Korean won was flat early on Tuesday, and was expected to move narrowly as investors await the outcome of the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting later in the global day.

The won stood at 1,172.8 to the dollar as of 0215 GMT, up 0.1 per cent compared with Monday's close of 1,173.4.

"The won is likely to take a breather, but the market will keep an eye on Chinese market flows," said Jung Sung-yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.

Jung added that the currency may fall against the dollar on Wednesday if US retail sales, due later in the day, is positive enough to offset weak jobs data earlier this month.

South Korean shares extended losses as offshore investors and domestic institutions sold stocks before central bank meetings in key economies such as the United States, Japan and the UK.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.4 per cent at 1,970.68 points, set for its fourth losing session.

Foreign investors were sellers, so far offloading a net 70.4 billion Korean won (S$81.33 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Shares of Lotte Group-related firms declined as prosecutors conducted additional raids on affiliates of the family-run conglomerate.

Tech firm LG Electronics Inc was down 2.0 per cent while chipmaker SK Hynix Inc gained 3.0 per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 635 to 176.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.05 point to 110.66.