February 15, 2017 / 6:50 AM / 7 months ago

S.Korean won slips as chance for Fed hike in March rises; stocks up

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SEOUL, Feb 15 (Reuters) - The South Korean won edged down on Wednesday as Federal Reserve Janet Yellen’s speech the prior day opened up more room for rate hike as early as March.

The South Korean won edged down on Wednesday, as Federal Reserve Janet Yellen’s speech the prior day was seen as increasing the chance of a U.S. rate hike as soon as March.

The won was quoted at 1.142.2 to the dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, down 0.4 percent compared with Tuesday’s close of 1,137.4.

Meanwhile, South Korean shares firmed, helped by stock purchases by local institutions, which offset worries about a Fed rate hike and a political scandal that has engulfed South Korea.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closed up 0.4 percent at 2,083.86 points.

Offshore investors sold a net 28.5 billion won ($24.97 million) of KOSPI shares, while the domestic institutions bought 159.5 billion won worth. (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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