* Won's strength likely to continue until April -analyst
* KOSPI pressured, foreigners sell
SEOUL, March 27 The South Korean won
sharply rose to a near six-month high early on Monday as the
dollar was broadly weaker following U.S. President Donald Trump
failure to pass a healthcare reform bill raised concerns over
his ability to implement policy.
The won stood at 1,113.7 against the dollar as of
0222 GMT, firming 0.8 percent from the previous close to notch
its strongest level since October 11, 2016.
"The 1,113 level will be a testing point, but it is highly
likely that the won will strengthen past that," said Jung
Sung-yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.
Jung added that local exporters' dollar-selling towards the
end of March and expectations that foreign exchange authorities
will not intervene in markets ahead of the U.S. Treasury's
biannual exchange rate report in April will continue to support
South Korea's finance minister said last week that the
possibility of the government being branded a currency
manipulator could not be ruled out if the United States changes
South Korean shares slumped to a one-week intraday low,
affected by U.S. stock markets, which weakened after Trump's
failure to reform Obamacare.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 0.3 percent at 2,163.37 points, the lowest since March 20.
Offshore investors were set to be small net buyers of KOSPI
shares near mid-session.
Automobile manufacturer Hyundai Motor lost 1.5
percent while chipmaker SK Hynix rose 2.6 percent.
Decliners outnumbered advancers 493 to 290.
June futures on three-year treasury bonds gained
0.09 point to 109.48.
0222 GMT Prev close
Dollar/won 1,113.7 1,122.6
Yen/won 10.0888/61 10.0376
*KTB futures 109.48 109.39
KOSPI 2,161.37 2,168.95
* Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
(Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)