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Seoul: Won slips as US dollar recovers; stocks steady

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won was slightly weaker early on Wednesday as the dollar rebounded after a few days of decline, pressuring a basket of Asian currencies.

The won was quoted at 1,166.3 to the US dollar as of 0214 GMT, marginally down compared with Tuesday's close of 1,165.9.

"The won has been reacting very sensitively to the greenback's movement since the beginning of January," said Ha Keon-Hyeong, a foreign exchange analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.

He added that the direction of the US dollar is the only factor moving the won currently as there was no domestic market momentum.

South Korea's economic growth retreated further in the last quarter of 2016, gross domestic product data released earlier in the session showed, but the market appeared to shrug off the data.

South Korean shares were little changed with the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at 2,066.58 points.

Offshore investors were expected to be buyers, purchasing a net 55.2 billion won (S$67.18 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Tech giant Samsung Electronic Co Ltd rose as much as 2.7 per cent to hit a record high of 1,960,000 won, buoyed by strong fourth quarter earnings, 2017 outlook and planned additional share buyback.

Battery-maker Samsung SDI rose as much as 5 per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 493 to 298.

March futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.06 point to 109.56.


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