September 25, 2017 / 3:38 AM / a year ago

S.Korea won rises as worries over North abate; stocks slip

    * Won gains on lack of specific signs of attack from N.Korea
    * USD's strength capping further won gains -analyst
    * KOSPI slips on investor caution before long break

    By Dahee Kim
    SEOUL, Sept 25 (Reuters) - The South Korean won       
strengthened early on Monday after fears over North Korea
moderated with no new challenge from Pyongyang over the weekend,
despite President Donald Trump's aggressive comments against the
    The won            was quoted at 1,131.0 against the dollar
as of 0329 GMT, up 0.5 percent versus Friday's close of 1,136.5
    Trump warned at the weekend that the North's foreign
minister and leader Kim Jong Un "won't be around much longer",
as Pyongyang staged a major anti-U.S. rally.             
    But at the same time, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin
said on Sunday that President Donald Trump wanted to avoid
nuclear war with North Korea and "will do everything we can" to
prevent it.             
    "Worries over geopolitical risks showed signs of calming
near the end of Friday's session and the calmer atmosphere
spread even more today," said Ha Keon-hyeong, a foreign exchange
analyst at Shinhan Investment Corp.
    Ha added that the won could have gained more if the
greenback had not rebounded in global markets.
    South Korean shares, meanwhile, slipped on in cautious trade
ahead of a long break next week.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI)         was
down 0.5 percent at 2,376.29 points.
    SK Hynix            , the world's no.2 chipmaker, rose as
much as 3.4 percent after an analyst report predicting the
company's fourth-quarter earnings would beat market consensus
was published.
    Another report said that the shares are currently
undervalued, also driving up the share price. 
    Market heavyweight Naver             lost 1.6 percent. 
    Offshore investors were small net sellers near mid-session,
offloading 9 billion Korean won ($7.96 million) worth of KOSPI
    Decliners outnumbered advancers 720 to 125.
    December futures on three-year treasury bonds         lost
0.03 point to 108.98. 
                       0329 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,131.0       1,136.5
 Yen/won             10.0757/83       10.1068
 *KTB futures            108.98        109.01
 KOSPI                 2,376.29      2,388.71
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Eric Meijer)
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