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Seoul: Won, stocks slide to near 4-week low on geopolitical risks


[SEOUL] South Korea's won and stock market fell to near four-week lows on Monday, as investors flocked to safe-haven assets amid rising geopolitical risks.

The won fell 0.7 per cent to 1,142.3 against the US dollar, the weakest since March 15.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) also declined to its lowest since mid-March, down 0.8 per cent to 2,133.59 points.

US President Donald Trump last week pressed Chinese President Xi Jinping to do more to curb North Korea nuclear programmes. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Mr Xi had agreed to increase cooperation in reining in North Korea - though he did not offer any new formula for cracking Pyongyang's defiant attitude.

Market voices on:

"Trump and Xi's summit, the biggest recent event for market players, is believed to have not reached a clear solution for North Korea's possible future provocations, pressuring the won continuously," said Jung Sung-Yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.

Foreign investors looked set for a sixth consecutive stock-selling session, offloading 65.3 billion Korean won (S$80.47 million) worth of Kospi shares near midday.

South Korea's defence-related shares rose in the wake of the US-China summit. Firstec Co Ltd gained more than 4 per cent, while Huneed Technologies rose nearly 2 per cent.

Tech firm LG Electronics Inc lost 3.1 per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 692 to 123.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.09 point to 109.28.