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Seoul: Won slips to 1-week low as US dollar rises on Fed; stocks rise


[SEOUL] The South Korean won slipped to a one-week low early on Thursday as market participants focused on the US Federal Reserve's Beige Book which highlighted modest-to-moderate expansion of the US economy, strengthening the US dollar.

Vice-chair Stanley Fischer's comments that the spillovers of the Fed rate hikes are "manageable" for foreign economies also supported the US dollar.

The won was quoted at 1,141.6 against the US dollar as of 0233 GMT, down 0.1 per cent versus Wednesday's close of 1,140.2. Earlier, the won hit a low of 1,144.7, its weakest since April 12.

"Investors are interpreting Fischer's comments as a signal for the next rate hike in June, driving up the dollar today," said Ha Keon-Hyeong, a foreign exchange analyst with Shinhan Investment Corp.

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South Korean shares edged up on foreign demand. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 0.2 per cent at 2,143.72, after shedding 0.5 per cent in the previous session.

Offshore investors were poised to be buyers of Kospi shares, purchasing a net 68.1 billion won (S$83.41 million) near mid-session.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics was headed for a fifth straight session of losses, down 1.9 per cent.

The sub-index for transportation equipment rose more than 2 per cent with Hyundai Motor up 3.3 per cent and Kia Motors 2.1 per cent higher.

Advancers outnumbered decliners by 431 to 326.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.02 point to 109.47.