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South Korea: Won slips to 6-wk low, stocks down on foreign selling

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won fell to a six-week low on Monday morning as the US dollar held firm despite a weak US jobs report, partly underpinned by New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley's remarks that two rate hikes over the year is reasonable.

The won was quoted at 1,163.3 to the US dollar, down 0.8 per cent compared to the previous close of 1,154.3 as of 0201 GMT. It slipped to a low of 1,167.5 in the first minutes of trade, the weakest since late March.

"The risk-averse mood was already in place last week on worries over the global economy due to China's weak PMI data. Mr Dudley's statement seems to have acted as a catalyst for the dollar's gains," said Park Yuna, a foreign exchange analyst at Dongbu Securities.

China's official factory survey and Caixin's private survey for April, released last week, gave mixed signals on the health of the manufacturing sector.

Ms Park added that the won might reach 1,180 won during the month as foreigners continue to cut their exposure to the local currency.

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South Korean shares edged down as a weak won prompted offshore investors to unloaded local equities.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was down 0.6 per cent at 1,965.23 points.

Foreigners were set to be sellers, offloading 76.4 billion Korean won (S$89.42 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session.

Decliners outnumbered advancers 536 to 257.

Tech firm LG Electronics Inc was down 4.9 per cent while chipmaker SK Hynix Inc lost 2.6 per cent.

June futures on three-year treasury bonds gained 0.04 point to 110.46.


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