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Seoul: Won jumps to 11-week high as US dollar slumps, stocks gain

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won firmed to a 11-week high early on Thursday as uncertainty over US President Donald Trump's fiscal policies weighed on the US dollar.

The won was at 1,158.9 as of 0237 GMT, up 0.6 per cent compared to Wednesday's close of 1,166.0. It hit a high of 1,156.0, the strongest since Nov 10, 2016.

"Local exporters' dollar-selling is also boosting the won amid broad dollar weakness," said Jung Sung-Yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.

Mr Jung said market players will watch the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting later in the month, an event likely to be an inflection point for the greenback.

Finance Minister Yoo Il-Ho advised on Thursday authorities would watch the exchange rate closely, as volatility has been high in recent sessions.

South Korean shares rose to a one-week high supported by strong US stocks, with the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) up 0.9 per cent at 2,086.21 points.

Offshore investors were set to be buyers, purchasing a net 144.1 billion Korean won (S$175.99 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Chipmaker SK Hynix Inc reported on Thursday its best quarterly profit in nearly two years and said it expects favourable market conditions to continue in 2017. The stock rose more then 3 per cent.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd continued its rally, rising 1.2 per cent to hit a new record-high.

Advancing issues far outnumbered declining ones by 504 to 300.

March futures on three-year treasury bonds lost 0.17 point to 109.38.


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