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S.Korea won eases to 1-week low; markets ignore Park's arrest
March 31, 2017 / 2:52 AM / 8 months ago

S.Korea won eases to 1-week low; markets ignore Park's arrest

    * Won weakens for four consecutive sessions
    * U.S. treasury's biannual exchange rate report eyed
    * Foreign investors continue stock purchases

    SEOUL, March 31 (Reuters) - The South Korean won       
weakened to a one-week low early on Friday, but was expected to
hold in a narrow range ahead of a biannual U.S. Treasury report
on exchange rates that will identify governments suspected of
manipulating their currencies.  
    The won's decline partly reflected broad dollar strength
following a U.S. Federal Reserve officials' comments and
supportive economic data.                          
    "The won could have slumped more, but the exporters'
continued dollar-selling is offsetting the dollar strength,"
said Ha Keon-hyeong, a foreign exchange analyst at Shinhan
Investment Corp.
    Ousted president Park Geun-hye was arrested in the early
hours of Friday after a South Korean court approved a warrant,
but it had little effect on local markets.             
    The won            stood at 1,120.9 against the dollar as of
0226 GMT, down 0.3 percent compared to Thursday's close of
1,117.2. It was the lowest intraday level since March 24.
    H said that all the focus is now on the U.S. treasury's
exchange rate report in April and he  expects the won to trade
between 1,100-1,110 per dollar until then. 
    South Korean shares fluctuated in and out of positive
territory as local investors sold stocks while foreigners
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)         was
little changed at 2,163.83 points.
    Offshore investors were set to be net buyers for a fifth
straight session, purchasing 46.3 billion Korean won ($41.32
million) worth of KOSPI shares near mid-session. 
    Steelmaker Posco             rose more than 2 percent on
better than expected first-quarter earnings.
    Hyundai Mobis             gained 1.3 percent. 
    Advancers outnumbered decliners 447 to 322.
    June futures on three-year treasury bonds         were
unchaged at 109.49. 
                       0226 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,120.9       1,117.2
 Yen/won             9.9973/054        9.9838
 *KTB futures            109.49        109.49
 KOSPI                 2,163.83      2,164.64
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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