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Seoul: Won, stocks wobble as US election results show close battle

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won and shares flip-flopped early on Wednesday as Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton waged a close battle in their bitter race for the White House.

With voting completed in more than half of the 50 US states, the race was too close to call in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Virginia, states that could be vital to deciding which contender wins the presidency.

But investors cautiously expected Mrs Clinton would prevail.

The won was quoted at 1,135.1 to the US dollar as of 0157 GMT, almost unchanged compared to the previous close of 1,135.0.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) fell 0.9 per cent to 1,984.74 points.

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"The won could strengthen as high as 1,120 level in case of Clinton's win, but heading beyond is unlikely as the US Federal Reserve will open more room for a December rate increase," said Jung Sung Yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.

A deepening domestic political crisis also weighed on investor confidence. South Korean President Park Geun Hye will miss a summit of Asia-Pacific economies this month in Peru, as she tries to limit the damage. Offshore investors were set to be small net sellers of Kospi shares near mid-session.

Shares of Hyundai Motor Co and LG Display Co Ltd both rose nearly one per cent.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 603 to 196.

December futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.02 point to 110.33.


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