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Seoul: Won, stocks edge up ahead of vote on Trump healtcare bill

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The South Korean won edged up early on Thursday, as the US dollar remained weak due to concerns US President Donald Trump will struggle to get his economic policies approved in a timely fashion.

[SEOUL] The South Korean won edged up early on Thursday, as the US dollar remained weak due to concerns US President Donald Trump will struggle to get his economic policies approved in a timely fashion.

The won was quoted at 1,118.9 against the US dollar as of 0226 GMT, up 0.4 per cent compared to Wednesday's close of 1,123.3.

Investors were awaiting Thursday's vote in the US House of Representatives on Mr Trump's healthcare bill, the first major test of the president's legislative ability and whether he can keep his big promises to business.

"Investors are holding back ahead of the vote and the dollar staying weak is lending support to the local currency," said Ha Keon-Hyeong, a foreign exchange analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.

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South Korean shares rose slightly on foreign investors' demand for local equities.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.3 per cent at 2,175.42 points.

Offshore investors were set to be net buyers, purchasing a net 22.8 billion Korean won (S$28.52 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Tech firm LG Electronics Inc rose more than 3 per cent, while Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd gained 2 per cent.

Advancers and decliners were almost even by 402 to 371.

March futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.01 point to 109.47.

REUTERS

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