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Seoul: Won, stocks end marginally lower; both end month up

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won ended Friday at its lowest level in a week as the US dollar rose on stronger US economic data and comments from Federal Reserve officials, slightly pressuring the local currency.

However, shares were up 3.3 per cent for the month, their biggest monthly percentage gain in 13 months.

The won was quoted at 1,118.4 to the US dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, down 0.1 per cent compared to Thursday's close of 1,117.2. It was the lowest closing level since March 24.

The local currency strengthened both for the week and the month. It rose 1.1 per cent in March, a third straight month of gain.

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Shares ended weaker as selling by local investors offset foreign buying.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) closed down 0.2 per cent at 2,160.23 points.

Offshore investors bought a net 24.3 billion won (S$30.32 million) worth of Kospi shares, marking their fifth straight buying session.

Shares ended the week down 0.4 per cent, but were up for the month, marking a fourth straight month of gains.