* Won expected to trade in tight range on Tues
* Shares briefly touch highest level since late Oct
SEOUL, Dec 13 The South Korean won
stepped up early on Tuesday but overall trade was thin ahead of
a Federal Reserve policy meeting at which the U.S. central bank
is widely expected to hike rates for the first time this year.
The won was quoted at 1,166.5 against the dollar
as of 0229 GMT, up 0.15 percent from its previous close.
"Market players may try to test the 1,160 won line midday as
the dollar's strength has quieted down a bit," said Min
Gyung-won, a foreign exchange analyst at NH Futures.
Min said whatever gains the won could manage would be capped
as importers are poised to buy dollars near that level.
South Korean shares briefly touched their highest level
since late October after markets opened, but the modest gains
were short-lived. The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)
up 0.08 percent at 2,028.79 points.
Meanwhile, shares linked to former ruling Saenuri Party head
Kim Moo-sung rallied on Tuesday on media reports of Kim possibly
forming a new party in the wake of parliament's vote to impeach
President Park Geun-hye last week.
Kim denied the reports before midday, but said in a
televised speech he was mulling leaving the party altogether.
Daewon Cable shares were up more than 5 percent,
NK Co Ltd jumped more than 9 percent while Chonbang
Co Ltd climbed up 4 percent.
December futures on three-year treasury bonds were
up 0.08 points to trade at 109.39.
0229 GMT Prev close
Dollar/won 1,166.5 1,168.2
Yen/won 10.1250/320 10.1168
*KTB futures 109.39 109.31
KOSPI 2,028.79 2,027.24
* Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
(Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Richard Borsuk)