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S.Korea stocks, won slump on edginess over possible Fed rate hike
August 22, 2016 / 2:51 AM / a year ago

S.Korea stocks, won slump on edginess over possible Fed rate hike

* KOSPI could be volatile all this week - analyst
    * Won down, reaches a near 4-week low

    SEOUL, Aug 22 (Reuters) - South Korean shares and the won
 sagged early on Monday on  increased worries the Federal
Reserve will hike U.S. rates in September. 
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 0.5 percent at 2,046.04 points as of 0212 GMT.
    The won was quoted at 1,124.1, down 0.6 percent
compared with the previous close of 1,117.6. It touched 1,126.5,
the weakest level since July 28.
    Concerns about the Fed have increased ahead of its annual
retreat in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which begins on Thursday.
    On Sunday, Fed Vice-Chair Stanley Fischer said it is close
to hitting its targets for full employment and 2 percent
inflation. 
    Late last week, San Francisco Fed President John Williams
joined a growing chorus of his colleagues signalling support for
a U.S. interest rate hike in the coming months, saying that
waiting too long could be costly for the economy. 
    Park Seok-hyun, a stock analyst at Eugene Investment &
Securities in Seoul, said that before the Jackson Hole
gathering, "the KOSPI's movement will be quite volatile waiting
for additional hints on the Fed's next policy decision."  
    Offshore investors were set to be sellers for the day,
offloading a net 48.7 billion Korean won ($43.32 million) of
KOSPI shares near mid-session. 
    The sub-index for iron, steel and metal dropped 1.3
percent with Posco losing 1.4 percent.
    Food and beverages index also declined more than 1 percent
with CJ Corp down 2.8 percent.
    Decliners outnumbered advancers 593 to 196.
    September futures on three-year treasury bonds shed
0.02 point to 111.04. 
    
                       0212 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,124.1       1,117.6
 Yen/won             11.1566/58       11.1025
 *KTB futures            111.04        111.06
 KOSPI                 2,046.04      2,056.24
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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