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Seoul: Won rises, but boxed in ahead of Fed; stocks flat

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The South Korean won stepped up early on Tuesday but overall trade was thin ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting at which the US central bank is widely expected to hike rates for the first time this year.

[SEOUL] The South Korean won stepped up early on Tuesday but overall trade was thin ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting at which the US central bank is widely expected to hike rates for the first time this year.

The won was quoted at 1,166.5 against the dollar as of 0229 GMT, up 0.15 per cent from its previous close.

"Market players may try to test the 1,160 won line midday as the US dollar's strength has quieted down a bit," said Min Gyung-won, a foreign exchange analyst at NH Futures.

Min said whatever gains the won could manage would be capped as importers are poised to buy dollars near that level.

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South Korean shares briefly touched their highest level since late October after markets opened, but the modest gains were short-lived. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) up 0.08 per cent at 2,028.79 points.

Meanwhile, shares linked to former ruling Saenuri Party head Kim Moo-sung rallied on Tuesday on media reports of Kim possibly forming a new party in the wake of parliament's vote to impeach President Park Geun-hye last week.

Kim denied the reports before midday, but said in a televised speech he was mulling leaving the party altogether.

Daewon Cable shares were up more than 5 per cent, NK Co Ltd jumped more than 9 per cent while Chonbang Co Ltd climbed up 4 per cent.

December futures on three-year treasury bonds were up 0.08 points to trade at 109.39.

REUTERS

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