August 21, 2017 / 2:58 AM / 10 months ago

S.Korea won higher on worries over US politics; joint military exercises in focus

    * US-S.Korea joint exercise capping won's further gain
    * Investors also eye on Yellen's speech later this week
    * KOSPI pressured as doubts over Trump hurts sentiment

    SEOUL, Aug 21 (Reuters) - The South Korean won        edged
higher early on Monday as ongoing concerns about U.S. President
Donald Trump's ability to push through his economic agenda
dragged down the dollar.
    The United States and South Korea begin joint military
exercises on Monday, with investor concerns over a flare-up 
tensions seen capping gains in the won.             
    The won            was quoted at 1,137.7 against the dollar,
up 0.3 percent versus Friday's close of 1,141.3.
    "The currency could have reacted more to doubts in the U.S.
politics and gain past the 1,137 level, were it not for Ulchi
Freedom Guardian," said Min Gyeong-won, a foreign exchange
analyst at NH Futures, using the operational name for the joint
    Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's speech at Jackson Hole
meeting later this week is also informing investors'
wait-and-see approach, added Min. 
    South Korean shares were pressured with market sentiment was
hurt by turmoil in U.S. Politics.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)         was
down 0.2 percent at 2,353.05 points.
    Offshore investors were set to be net sellers, offloading a
net 30.9 billion Korean won ($27.18 million) worth of KOSPI
shares near mid-session.
    Decliners outnumbered advancers 462 to 325.
    Shares of S-Oil             and SK Innovation            
rose 4 percent and 3.2 percent each following a hike in global
oil prices overnight.
    Market heavyweights were mixed. Web portal Naver            
lost 1 percent while SK Hynix             gained 1 percent.  
    September futures on three-year treasury bonds        
gained 0.01 point to 109.14. 
                       0228 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,137.7       1,141.3
 Yen/won             10.4148/04       10.4101
 *KTB futures            109.14        109.13
 KOSPI                 2,353.05      2,358.37
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim)
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