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Seoul: Won, stocks join global slump on US policy doubts

[SEOUL] The South Korean won fell to a one-week low early on Friday and Seoul stocks succumbed to a global sell-off in riskier assets on concerns that President Donald Trump will not be able to push through policies to boost US economic growth.

The won was quoted at 1,141.3 to the US dollar, down 0.4 per cent from Thursday's close of 1,137.2.

"US stocks slid over one per cent on growing doubts over Trump, which largely hurt investment sentiment, dragging down the won," said Ha Keon Hyeong, a foreign exchange analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp, adding that market players were closely watching for signs of capital outflows that could further pressure the currency.

South Korean shares also fell, but pared earlier losses as some investors looked for bargains.

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The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.4 per cent at 2,353.05 points by late morning, after dropping to as low as 2,340.19 at the opening.

Offshore investors were set to be small net sellers of Kospi shares near mid-session, whereas individual investors purchased a net 706 billion won (S$846.95 million) worth of stocks.

Market heavyweights were mixed. Samsung Electronics lost 0.9 per cent while Hyundai Motor rose nearly one per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 485 to 301.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds gains 0.04 point to 109.15.