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S.Korea won inches up ahead of Yellen speech, stocks weaker
February 14, 2017 / 3:00 AM / 9 months ago

S.Korea won inches up ahead of Yellen speech, stocks weaker

    * Analysts see uncertainties over the won's next movement
    * KOSPI hurt by offshore stock selling

    SEOUL, Feb 14 (Reuters) - The South Korean won        edged
up against the dollar on Tuesday ahead of congressional
testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen later in the
global day. 
    The won            looked set for a gain for the first time
in three days, and was up 0.2 percent at 1,149.2 as of 0247 GMT,
compared with Monday's close of 1,152.0. 
    The currency has strengthened 5.1 percent against the dollar
this year on the back of improving exports and as the greenback
lost some steam.
    Traders are focused on Yellen's testimony for clues to the
pace of the U.S. central bank's interest rate increases. 
    "It's unlikely that Yellen would suddenly turn hawkish and
change the whole trend, but her speech may have a selective
effect on currencies according to how the investors interpret
it," said Jung Sung-yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai
    South Korean shares were little changed, with foreign
selling offset by local buying.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)         was
down 0.1 percent at 2,076.76 points.
    Foreign investors were expected to be net sellers,
offloading 75.5 billion Korean won ($65.72 million) worth of
KOSPI shares near mid-session, weighing on the index. 
    Web portal Naver             lost more than 3 percent, hurt
by foreign selling, whereas steelmaker Posco             rose
nearly 2 percent, supported by foreign buying. 
    Decliners and advancers were nearly even.
    March futures on three-year treasury bonds         lost 0.02
point to 109.50. 
                       0247 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,149.2       1,152.0
 Yen/won             10.1020/73       10.0977
 *KTB futures            109.50        109.52
 KOSPI                 2,076.76      2,078.65
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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