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Seoul: Won weaker after Fed minutes; North Korea worries linger
[SEOUL] The South Korean won slipped to a near four-month low early on Thursday, as the greenback stayed solid against Asian currencies after the US Federal Reserve's June meeting minutes while concerns over North Korea lingered.
Fed minutes showed that policymakers were increasingly split on the outlook for inflation and how it might affect the future pace of interest rate rises.
The won was quoted at 1,152.4 against the US dollar as of 0231 GMT, down 0.2 per cent from Wednesday's close of 1,150.5. The currency briefly touched a low of 1,153.3, the weakest intraday-level since March 10, soon after the market opened.
"Fed minutes did have some impact on the market movements today but was limited as it showed what was largely expected," said Paik Seokhyun, a foreign exchange analyst at Shinhan Bank.
"Geopolitical risks regarding North Korea is also giving slight pressure."
The United States cautioned on Wednesday it was ready to use force if need be to stop North Korea's nuclear missile programme.
He added the won was likely to trade in tight ranges for a while.
South Korean shares also eased in line with most Asian bourses, while investors awaited second-quarter earnings guidance from tech giant Samsung Electronics , which is due on Friday.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.2 per cent at 2,384.13 points.
Shares of Samsung Electronics gained nearly one per cent while LG Electronics lost 3.7 per cent.
Foreign investors were poised to be net buyers, purchasing 86.9 billion won (S$104.20 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.
Decliners outnumbered advancers 439 to 343.
September futures on three-year treasury bonds held steady at 109.17.