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Seoul: Won up on rise in risk demand; stocks edge up


[SEOUL] The South Korean won strengthened against the dollar on Monday as investor demand for risky assets rose globally after oil prices appeared to have found a bottom.

Whether the won's rally is sustained will depend in part the outcome of this week's US Federal Open Market Committee policy meeting.

The local currency was quoted at 1,186.4 per dollar, up 0.6 per cent from Friday's close of 1,193.1.

South Korean shares rose to a 2016 peak early in the session on Monday before easing, as investors adopted a wait-and-see stance ahead of central bank meetings this week, including in Japan.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.2 per cent at 1,975.55 points as of 0232 GMT.

"What matters most is the FOMC's decision. There may be some disappointment if FOMC takes a hawkish stance toward monetary policy," said Cho Byung-hyun, an analyst at Yuanta Securities.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd was up 1.5 per cent while steelmaker Posco fell 3.4 per cent.

Foreign investors had bought a net 18.8 billion won (S$21.76 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 466 to 331.

March futures on three-year treasury bonds shed 0.01 per cent to 109.93.


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