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Seoul: Won, stocks jump as US jobs data backs global risk-on mood

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won and shares rose sharply early on Monday as better-than-expected US employment data boosted risk sentiment globally, even though the Federal Reserve was still seen as unlikely to raise rates anytime soon.

The won stood at 1,149.9 as of 0205 GMT, up 1.0 per cent compared to the previous close of 1,161.8.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was up 1.2 per cent at 1,985.81 points.

US job growth surged in June as manufacturing employment increased, more evidence the economy has regained momentum after a first-quarter lull, but tepid wage growth could see the Federal Reserve remaining cautious about hiking interest rates.

Park Yuna, a foreign exchange analyst at Dongbu Securities said that although the won was strengthening on the day helped by the strong jobs report, China's criticism of the Thaad missile deployment in South Korea added to market worries and could pressure the currency in the near term.

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South Korea and the United States said on Friday they would deploy the Thaad advanced missile defence system in South Korea to counter the threat from nuclear-armed North Korea, drawing a sharp and swift protest from neighbouring China.

The Bank of Korea's monetary policy board convenes for its monthly rate-setting meeting on July 14.

"We should see also whether comments from the Bank of Korea's July policy meeting signal an additional rate cut in the future," noted Ms Park.

Foreign investors were poised to be net buyers, purchasing 135.2 billion Korean won (S$158.16 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session, buttressing the index.

Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd rose 2.5 per cent, while LG Electronics Inc lost 1.8 per cent.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining issues by 488 to 293.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.03 point to 111.15.


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