Seoul: Won slips on profit-taking, EU/US political uncertainty

[SEOUL] The South Korean won fell early on Tuesday as investors backed off, thinking that the currency has firmed enough for the short-term while political anxieties stemming from the European Union also pressured the currency.

The won stood at 1,141.4 as of 0219 GMT, down 0.3 per cent compared to Monday's close of 1,137.9.

France far-right party leader Marine Le Pen on Sunday pledged to fight against globalisation and for France to leave the European Union.

She took the lead in a poll on voting intentions for the first round of the upcoming presidential election.

"The greenback is trying to rebound from recent losses as demand for safe-haven assets returned due to political woes from the EU," said Jung Sung-Yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.

Mr Jung added, however, it will be hard for the US dollar to push the won below the mid-1,140 level because other uncertainties such as the Federal Reserve's future rate hikes and US President Donald Trump's policies persist in the market.

South Korean shares were flat amid the absence of market momentum.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.1 per cent at 2,075.19 points.

Offshore investors were expected to be sellers, offloading a net 63.9 billion Korean won (S$79.03 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Chipmaker SK Hynix Inc rose nearly one per cent after the company was said to have submitted an initial bid to acquire a stake in Toshiba Corp's memory chip business.

Samsung Electronics lost 1.5 per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 440 to 354.

March futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.11 point to 109.60.


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