S.Korean won on track for 5th day of losses, stocks edge down

Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:01pm EDT

* Won may ease for 5th day, the longest since mid-January
    * Won, stocks tread cautiously before Fed meeting results

    SEOUL, June 18 (Reuters) - The South Korean won eased
slightly against the dollar on Wednesday morning, and looks set
to post a fifth day of losses  after stronger-than-expected U.S.
inflation data underpinned  the greenback.
    The currency was quoted at 1,022.9 versus the
dollar as of 0232 GMT, down 0.1 percent from Tuesday's onshore
close at 1,021.9.
    A fifth consecutive day of declines will mark the longest
losing streak since in mid-January.
    "There is some talk of offshore funds purchasing the dollar,
but demand for the won by tech companies and exporters is
limiting further losses," a currency dealer at a commercial bank
said.
    U.S. consumer price index rose 0.4 percent in May, data
showed on Tuesday, the biggest increase in more than a year,
bolstering expectation the U.S. Federal Reserve might raise
interest rates sooner than expected.
    A two-day policy meeting by the Fed which ends later on
Wednesday is widely expected to unwind another $10 billion from
its monthly bond purchases. The focus will be on Fed Chair Janet
Yellen's press conference and on any firm clues on the interest
rate outlook. 
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 0.4 percent at 1,994.33 points as of 0232 GMT.
    "Offshore investors are on wait-and-see mode prior to the
Fed meeting outcome," said Kim Yong-goo, an analyst at Samsung
Securities. 
    Foreign investors positioned as net sellers near
mid-session, offloading 17 billion won ($16.7 million) worth of
KOSPI shares along with a net 61 billion won of sales by
domestic institutional investors.
    Hyundai Motor Co slipped 1.1 percent following
the biggest daily percentage gain in a month, while affiliate
Kia Motors Corp declined 1.2 percent.
    Some of the defensives were also chased by investors. South
Korea's largest mobile carrier SK Telecom Co Ltd 
rose 1.1 percent and state-run utility company Korea Electric
Power Corp added 1.7 percent.
    Meanwhile, September futures on three-year treasury bonds
 ticked up 0.02 point to 106.22. June futures on
three-year treasury bonds expired on Tuesday, and September
futures will serve as the lead futures contract.
                       0232 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won            1,022.9       1,021.9
 Yen/won           10.0157/078       10.0024
 *KTB futures           106.22        106.20
 KOSPI                1,994.33      2,001.55
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
($1 = 1017.8000 South Korean Won)

 (Reporting by Jungmin Jang; Additional reporting by KyoungHo
Lee)