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Seoul: Won steady as exporters offset stronger US dollar

[SEOUL] The South Korean won was steady early on Wednesday as month-end US dollar selling from local exporters offset the greenback's rise driven by expectations of more US interest rate hikes this year.

The won was quoted at 1,114.0 against the US dollar as of 0159 GMT, little changed from Tuesday's close of 1,113.0.

The US dollar bounced from 4-month lows after data showed US consumer confidence surged to a more than 16-year high in March.

"Though the US economic indicator pointed to a boost in the economy there, most of the market players seem to believe the dollar can turn weaker at any time," said Park Sung Woo, a foreign exchange analyst at NH Futures.

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South Korean shares were also subdued with the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) flat at 2,164.13 points.

Foreign investors were set to be net buyers for three consecutive days, purchasing 17.3 billion Korean won (S$21.67 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

The sub-index for transportation equipment dropped 1.2 per cent with Hyundai Motor down more than one percent and Hyundai Mobis dropping nearly three per cent.

Chipmaker SK Hynix rose 2.5 per cent on hopes of strongest-ever quarterly earnings.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 464 to 319.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds were unchanged at 109.47.

REUTERS

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