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Seoul: Won slips on risk-off sentiment, stocks flat
[SEOUL] The South Korean won and stocks dipped on Monday, following other Asian markets, as investors eyed political uncertainties in the European Union.
The won was quoted at 1,147.1 as of 0236 GMT, down 0.1 per cent compared to Friday's close of 1,146.3.
Germany's centre-left Social Democrats have moved ahead of conservative Christian Democrats in an opinion poll for the first time since 2006, while French left candidates said they would unite behind one candidate for the presidential election, increasing the chance of a win for far-right, anti-globalisation candidate Marine Le Pen.
Jung Sung-Yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures, said that investors' risk-averse mood pushed the dollar and yen up against the won.
"The won's trading range is expected to be boxed in 1,140-1,160 for the time being as there is no big event coming," added Mr Jung.
Analysts including Mr Jung said geopolitical risks at home regarding the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother last week and the North's recent firing of a ballistic missile were not impacting markets on Monday.
South Korean shares were flat, with selling by foreign investors and domestic institutions offset by retail investors'buying.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.1 per cent at 2,079.07 points.
Offshore investors sold a net 16.9 billion Korean won (S$20.91 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session, while institutions sold a net 94 billion won worth.
Shares of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd gained 1.6 per cent on bargain-hunting, following the arrest of group leader Jay Y Lee last week for his involvement in an influence-peddling scandal linked to President Park Geun-Hye.
Samsung Engineering dropped more than 5 per cent on profit-taking.
Decliners outnumbered advancers 549 to 246.
March futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.02 point to 109.52.