* Dollar's rise driven by hopes of more U.S. rate hikes in
* Market believes dollar could weaken at any time -analyst
* Foreigners set to mark 3rd straight stock-buying session
SEOUL, March 29 The South Korean won was
steady early on Wednesday as month-end dollar-selling from local
exporters offset the greenback's rise driven by expectations of
more U.S. interest rate hikes this year.
The won was quoted at 1,114.0 against the dollar
as of 0159 GMT, little changed from Tuesday's close of 1,113.0.
The dollar bounced from 4-month lows after data showed U.S.
consumer confidence surged to a more than 16-year high in March.
"Though the U.S. economic indicator pointed to a boost in
the economy there, most of the market players seem to believe
the dollar can turn weaker at any time," said Park Sung-woo, a
foreign exchange analyst at NH Futures.
South Korean shares were also subdued with the Korea
Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) flat at 2,164.13
Foreign investors were set to be net buyers for three
consecutive days, purchasing 17.3 billion Korean won ($15.54
million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session.
The sub-index for transportation equipment dropped
1.2 percent with Hyundai Motor down more than 1
percent and Hyundai Mobis dropping nearly 3 percent.
Chipmaker SK Hynix rose 2.5 percent on hopes of
strongest-ever quarterly earnings.
Decliners outnumbered advancers 464 to 319.
June futures on three-year treasury bonds were
unchanged at 109.47.
0159 GMT Prev close
Dollar/won 1,114.0 1,113.0
Yen/won 10.0090/26 10.0316
*KTB futures 109.47 109.47
KOSPI 2,164.13 2,163.31
* Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
(Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)