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S.Korea won climbs to 1-wk high as dollar slides broadly
April 13, 2017 / 3:26 AM / in 4 months

S.Korea won climbs to 1-wk high as dollar slides broadly

    * BOK holds rates for 10th mth, but limited impact on
markets
    * Another sharp drop in won unlikely -analyst
    * KOSPI edges up; foreigners turn to net sellers
    * S.Korea's CDS remain at 9-mth high

    SEOUL, April 13 (Reuters) - The South Korean won        rose
to a one-week high on Thursday as the dollar slumped broadly on
U.S. President Donald Trump's comments that the currency was too
strong, shifting investor focus away from local geopolitical
risks that have hurt sentiment.  
    The dollar took a heavy hit after Trump said the currency
"is getting too strong" and that he would prefer the Federal
Reserve to keep interest rates low. 
    Investors took profit after the dollar gained 2.3 percent
against the won in the past seven days.
    The won            was quoted at 1,128.6 against the dollar
as of 0318 GMT, up 1.1 percent compared with Wednesday's close
of 1,141.4. It was the highest intraday level since April 6.
    South Korean shares also edged up, with the Korea Composite
Stock Price Index (KOSPI)         gaining 0.2 percent at
2,134.31 points.
    The country's central bank kept interest rates unchanged for
a 10th straight month, wary of geopolitical risks around North
Korea and ahead of a much-anticipated U.S. Treasury report on
foreign currency policy, but had limited impact on the markets
as the decision was largely expected.             
    "North Korea issue is not fully digested in the markets yet,
but it is common for geopolitical risks to have just short-term
effect especially in case of currency moves," said Paik
Seokhyun, a foreign exchange analyst at Shinhan Bank.
    Paik added that the won is unlikely to drop below this
week's lowest point as there is no additional momentum that
could pressure the currency. The won dropped to as low as
1,149.7 this week.
    South Korean 5-year credit default swaps (CDS) have risen by
8 basis points this month alone, remaining at the highest levels
since June last year as jitters related to North Korea continued
to spook investors.             
    Offshore investors were set to be net sellers, offloading
69.3 billion won ($61.23 million) worth of KOSPI shares near
mid-session. 
    Steelmaker Posco             dropped 3.7 percent on foreign
selling, while web portal Naver Corp             rose 2.5
percent on offshore purchases. 
    Decliners outnumbered advancers 447 to 324.
    June futures on three-year treasury bonds         rose 0.08
point to 109.44. 
    
                       0318 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,128.6       1,141.4
 Yen/won             10.3618/12       10.3975
 *KTB futures            109.48        109.40
 KOSPI                 2,134.31      2,128.91
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
    

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
  

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