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Seoul: Won, stocks slump as strong US dollar prompts selling surge

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won and shares sagged early on Thursday as the US dollar's rebound in global markets undermined foreign investors' appetite for riskier assets.

Ongoing political scandal also pressured the overall South Korean market as prosecutors raided the offices of Lotte Group and SK Group as part of their widening investigation into an influence-peddling scandal engulfing South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

The won stood at 1,182.6 as of 0224 GMT, down 0.5 per cent compared to Wednesday's close of 1,176.2.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) was down 0.8 per cent at 1,972.18 points.

"The amount of foreign stock-dumping is likely to increase during the session due to the strong US dollar and the absence of any momentum for the South Korean market to rebound," said Ha Keon-hyeong, a foreign exchange analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.

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Offshore investors were expected to be net sellers, offloading 74.8 billion Korean won (S$90.5 million) worth of Kospi shares near mid-session, weighing on the index.

Automobile manufacturer Hyundai Motor Co was up more than 1 per cent while steelmaker Posco lost 1.1 per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 658 to 167.

December futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.15 point to 109.10.


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