* Won apt to gain more; U.S. jobs report in focus
* KOSPI weaker though foreign investors continue buying
SEOUL, Jan 5 The South Korean won sharply
rose to its highest in two weeks early on Thursday as the dollar
was broadly pressured when the minutes of the Federal Reserve's
December meeting appeared to give no definitive indication of
implementing three rate hikes this year.
The won was quoted at 1,194.3 against the dollar
as of 0218 GMT, up 1.0 percent compared with Wednesday's close
of 1,206.4. It touched as high as 1,190.0, strongest level since
December 20, 2016.
"Other currencies like Japanese yen and Chinese yuan are all
strengthening against the dollar today, giving the won an extra
boost," said Jeon Seung-ji, a foreign exchange analyst at
Jeon added that there seems to be more room for the won to
gain. But in the near term, market players will be focused on
U.S. employment data scheduled for release on Friday.
South Korean shares were slightly weaker in low-volume
trade, with the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)
down around 0.2 percent at 2,042.23 points.
Samsung Heavy Industries gained more than 5
percent after it said it had won an order worth 1.5 trillion
Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
lost 1.1 percent.
Offshore investors were poised to be net buyers for the
seventh consecutive session, purchasing 34.1 billion Korean won
($28.57 million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session.
March futures on three-year treasury bonds gained
0.05 point to 109.67.
0218 GMT Prev close
Dollar/won 1,194.3 1,206.4
Yen/won 10.2439/55 10.1888
*KTB futures 109.67 109.62
KOSPI 2,042.23 2,045.64
* Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
(Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Eric Meijer)