* N.Korea's missile launch failure also calms markets
* Remaining risks could pressure the won for a month or two
SEOUL, April 17 The South Korean won and
shares strengthened early on Monday as the semi-annual U.S.
Treasury currency report eased some market concerns, while the
failure of a North Korea missile launch also aided the
The won was quoted at 1,137.5 to the dollar as of
0313 GMT, up 0.2 percent compared to the previous close of
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.3 percent at 2,142.29 points.
The U.S. Treasury currency report released over the weekend
kept South Korea on the monitoring list as it did last October.
North Korea's missile launch failure calmed market worries
over geopolitical risks in the region, providing some support.
The won is set to gain for the day following the currency
report, but its rise would be temporary, said Kim Doo-un, a
foreign exchange analyst at Hana Financial Investment.
"Risks over a possible North Korean nuclear test still
remain in markets and the presidential election in France will
also trigger safe-haven demand among the investors, pressuring
the won," said Kim.
France will be holding a two-stage presidential election on
April 23 and May 7.
The won's weaker trend is likely to last for a month or two,
Offshore investors were set to be net sellers for a third
straight session, offloading 44.4 billion Korean won ($39.02
million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session.
The sub-index for major financial groups rose nearly
2 percent as a South Korean pension fund on Monday accepted a
debt-to-equity swap proposal for bondholders of troubled Daewoo
Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering .
Shares of Amorepacific rose nearly 5 percent.
Advancers outnumbered decliners 567 to 230.
June futures on three-year treasury bonds gained
0.04 point to 109.49.
0313 GMT Prev close
Dollar/won 1,137.5 1,140.0
Yen/won 10.4974/88 10.4542
*KTB futures 109.49 109.45
KOSPI 2,142.29 2,134.88
* Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
(Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)