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Seoul: Won, stocks edge up on US dollar weakness after Trump's inaugural address

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won and shares edged up early on Monday as the US dollar weakened following new US President Donald Trump's inaugural address.

Mr Trump's first address as president on Friday highlighted his "America first" policies that were short on specific proposals, disappointing investors hoping for details on his plans to stoke growth, spend more on infrastructure and reduce taxes.

The won stood at 1,167.0 against the US dollar as of 0200 GMT, up 0.2 per cent compared to the previous close of 1,169.2.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.3 per cent at 2,071.79 points.

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"Trump's comments will still be in spotlight for a while, although we cannot be sure about anything judging just from his inaugural address," said Jeon Seung-Ji, a foreign exchange analyst at Samsung Futures.

It will be another volatile week for the won, Mr Jeon added, as it tracks China's yuan which bounces back and forth a lot ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

South Korean markets will be closed from Jan 27-30 for national holidays.

Offshore investors were poised to be net buyers of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said battery defects caused its premium Galaxy Note 7 phones to catch fire, not the device's software or hardware.

But its announcement had little impact on its shares, which traded up 0.8 per cent, as it had been already priced in.

Chipmaker SK Hynix Inc gained more than 3 per cent on hopes of stronger fourth-quarter earnings.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 433 to 357.

March futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.03 point to 109.57.

REUTERS

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