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Seoul: Won, stocks rise as upbeat US stocks support risk
[SEOUL] The South Korean won and shares strengthened slightly on Monday as risk sentiment was boosted by Wall Street's records overnight and a widely held belief that another Federal Reserve rate hike this year is unlikely.
The won was quoted at 1,096.6 as of 0201 GMT, up 0.6 per cent compared to the previous close at 1,103.3.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.1 per cent at 2,053.01 points.
US retail sales were unexpectedly flat in July as Americans cut back on discretionary spending, pointing to a moderation in consumption that could temper expectations of a sharp pickup in economic growth in the third quarter.
"The greenback sagged after the US economic data release, but the won's gain will not extend further since the market has to see what comes out of Fed officials' speeches and the July Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes this week," said Jung Sung-yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.
Several Fed officials are scheduled to speak this week, while July's FOMC minutes are due out on Wednesday.
Foreign investors were expected to be net buyers, purchasing 67.8 billion Korean won (S$82.5 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.
Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd gained 1.3 per cent while Lotte Shopping Co Ltd rose 4.6 per cent.
Decliners outnumbered advancers 431 to 339.
September futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.01 point to 111.07.