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Seoul: Won, stocks sluggish; markets eye ECB, BOJ outcomes


[SEOUL] The South Korean won and stocks were tentative on Wednesday morning as traders held their bets amid uncertainty over economic policy in the United States and ahead of key central bank meetings in Japan and Europe this week.

The US dollar slid as Republican efforts to overhaul or repeal Obamacare collapsed in the US Senate in a blow to President Donald Trump's ability to pass promised tax cuts and infrastructure spending.

The won was quoted at 1,122.9 to the dollar as of 0201 GMT, little changed versus Tuesday's close of 1,123.1.

"Despite the dollar's weakness on Trump, the won is moving in a very narrow range since it had run up too fast over a short period," said Jeong My-young, a foreign exchange analyst at Samsung Futures.

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The won has rallied nearly 3 per cent since July 6.

Jeong expects gains beyond the 1,120 level is unlikely as markets await the outcomes of the Bank of Japan and European Central Bank policy meetings on Thursday.

South Korean shares were a touch lower with the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) at 2,423.31 points.

Foreign investors were set to be net sellers, shedding 71.4 billion Korean won (S$86.95 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Market heavyweight Naver gained one per cent while Samsung Electronics lost nearly one per cent.

Advancers outnumbered decliners 449 to 323.

September futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.03 point to 109.23.