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Seoul: Won at 7-week high as Britain seen more likely to stay in EU
[SEOUL] The South Korean won rose to a near seven-week intraday high early on Thursday with the US dollar declining broadly as sterling and the euro strengthened on polling that showed a tilt towards a "remain" vote in Britain's European Union membership referendum.
The won stood at 1,151.4 per dollar as of 0214 GMT, up 0.3 per cent compared to Wednesday's close of 1,154.4. The local currency rose as high as 1,149.9 in early trade, its highest since May 4 of this year.
Sterling rose to its highest level of the year against the US dollar in late trade on Wednesday after a YouGov poll for the Times newspaper showed the "stay" vote just ahead of the "leave" vote.
"Sterling has fully recovered its past losses triggered by Brexit worries as of now, mirroring market views that the probability of Brexit materialising is low," said Jeong My-young, a foreign exchange analyst at Samsung Futures.
Ms Jeong added that Britain remaining in the bloc could renew global risk appetite to some extent. But any boost in risky assets was ikely to be short-lived as markets are pricing in a"stay" vote, she said.
South Korean shares edged down on profit-taking ahead of the referendum.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.4 per cent at 1,984.58 points.
Offshore investors were set to be net sellers, but had only offloaded a relatively small volume of Kospi shares near mid-session.
Oil refiner S-Oil Corp fell 2.5 per cent and SK Innovation Co Ltd was down 1.4 per cent as global oil prices stepped down overnight.
Web portal Naver Corp shares rose 2.1 per cent.
Decliners outnumbered advancers 634 to 166.
September futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.01 point to 110.65.