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Seoul: Won moves gingerly ahead of ECB decision; stocks edge up

Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 11:00

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The South Korean won zigzagged in and out of negative territory on Thursday as a wait-and-see mood spread ahead of an European Central Bank interest rate decision later in the day.

[SEOUL] The South Korean won zigzagged in and out of negative territory on Thursday as a wait-and-see mood spread ahead of an European Central Bank interest rate decision later in the day.

The won, which touched a more than five-month high on Wednesday at 0221 GMT stood at 1,135.3 to the US dollar, barely changed from Wednesday's close of 1,135.2.

"Although the dollar strengthened globally, the won is not reacting much since the investors are cautious ahead of the results of major central banks' policy meetings, starting with the ECB today," said Jung Sung-yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.

The US Federal Open Market Committee and Bank of Japan both have policy meetings next week.

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Meanwhile, South Korean shares stayed on an upward trend on the back of continued buying by foreigners.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.5 per cent at 2,015.08 points as of 0221 GMT.

Offshore investors were poised to be buyers for a seventh consecutive session, purchasing 65.6 billion Korean won (S$77.8 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session.

Advancers and decliners were almost even, at 408 to 373.

Refiner S-Oil Corp gained 1.6 per cent after it said it expects refining margins to stay solid in the second quarter.

Screen manufacturer LG Display Co Ltd gained 3 per cent and market heavyweight Posco was up 3.1 per cent.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.06 point to 110.22.

REUTERS

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