* Decline in foreign stock demand also pressuring the won
* Institutions' stock purchases give moderate support on
SEOUL, Oct 12 The South Korean won eased
to a three-week low on Wednesday as the greenback continued its
global rally, while tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
slumped for a third day, pressuring the stock market.
The won was quoted at 1,123.4 as of 0218 GMT,
down 0.3 percent compared to Tuesday's close of 1,120.4.
Shares of Samsung Electronics fell more than 2
percent to a one-month low after it decided to permanently end
sales of its fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 smartphones. The stock has
plunged 12 percent so far this week.
"Samsung Electronics' current crisis is cooling foreign
investors' stock demand. Also, the dollar is extending gains as
market forecasts for U.S. Federal Reserve's December rate hike
strengthen, pressuring the won," said Park Sung-woo, a foreign
exchange analyst at NH Futures.
He added that the release of U.S. central bank's meeting
minutes may have some negative impact on the currency, but it
was very unlikely to drop below the 1,125 level.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
almost unchanged at 2,032.14 points, weighed down by Samsung.
But battery maker Samsung SDI Co Ltd gained more
than 3 percent.
Offshore investors were set to be net sellers, offloading
342.4 billion Korean won ($307.15 million) worth of KOSPI shares
near mid-session, weighing on the index. Institutions bought a
net 386.1 billion won worth.
Decliners and advancers were almost even by 399 to 368.
December futures on three-year treasury bonds gained
0.02 point to 110.56.
0218 GMT Prev close
Dollar/won 1,123.4 1,120.4
Yen/won 10.8469/60 10.8567
*KTB futures 110.56 110.54
KOSPI 2,032.14 2,031.93
* Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
(Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Kim Coghill)