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Seoul: Won steps down on firm US dollar; stocks edge up

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won slipped early on Tuesday as the greenback stood tall against a basket of currencies while investor sentiment in Korea cooled ahead of the new year.

The won was quoted at 1,205.9 as of 0229 GMT, down 0.4 per cent compared to Monday's close of 1,201.4.

"The won's movement for this week will be decided by the dollar," said Jeong My-Young, a foreign exchange analyst at Samsung Futures.

She added that even the exporters' month-end US dollar selling for this month won't be enough to turn the sentiment around and support the local currency.

Market voices on:

South Korean shares were slightly up by 0.2 per cent, and the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) stood at 2,041.32 points.

Offshore investors were expected to be net buyers, purchasing 31.8 billion Korean won (S$38.23 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Shares of Cheil Worldwide Inc rose nearly 5 per cent as the market expected the company's fourth-quarter earnings data to be surprisingly high.

LG Display Co Ltd lost 1.4 per cent.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 412 to 335.

March futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.03 point to 109.44.