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Seoul: Won rises on Trump turmoil, stocks edge up

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The South Korean won early on Monday jumped more than one per cent to a one-week high, as the US dollar weakened from political turmoil engulfing US President Donald Trump.

[SEOUL] The South Korean won early on Monday jumped more than one per cent to a one-week high, as the US dollar weakened from political turmoil engulfing US President Donald Trump.

The won was quoted at 1,115.0 against the US dollar as of 0248 GMT, up 1.1 per cent compared to the previous close of 1,127.2.

The US dollar tumbled on renewed concerns about Mr Trump's presidency, following two new media reports of possible coordination between Russia and Mr Trump's election campaign.

Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by Mr Trump amid an agency probe into alleged Russian meddling in the US election, has agreed to testify before the US Senate Intelligence Committee at a public hearing scheduled sometime after May 29.

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Paik Seokhyun, a foreign exchange analyst at Shinhan Bank, said the won would likely trade in a tight range ahead of Mr Comey's testimony.

South Korean shares also edged up on purchases from foreign investors.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.4 per cent at 2,297.04 points.

Offshore investors were set to be net buyers, purchasing 81.5 billion won (S$101 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session, buttressing the index.

The sub-index for iron, steel, and metal was up 3.2 per cent, on expectations higher steel prices would translate into better company profits.

Posco was up nearly 5 per cent and Hyundai Steel Co up 4.3 per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 403 to 385.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.06 point to 109.46.

REUTERS

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