S.Korean won falls ahead of Yellen testimony, stocks rise

Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:59pm EDT

* Won poised to have worst intraday loss since February

    SEOUL, July 15 (Reuters) - The South Korean won fell
on Tuesday as foreigners bought dollars ahead of a closely
watched testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen to a
U.S. Senate committee later in the day.
    The won was quoted at 1,024.6 to the dollar as of
0235 GMT, down 0.63 percent from Monday's domestic close at
1,018.2. It was poised for its worst intraday loss since
February this year.
    "The market currently anticipates U.S. interest rates will
be raised earlier than expected due to positive U.S. economic
indicators, but should Yellen say something unexpected, that
will boost the dollar," said Hong Seok-chan, a currency analyst
at Daishin Economic Research Institute.
    Market participants said few dollar sales from local
exporters were spotted in early trading, adding to the weakness
in the won.
    Meanwhile, South Korean shares rose early in the
session, in line with Asian peers after U.S. stocks ended higher
overnight. Both foreigners and institutions snapped up local
shares.
    Global shares had risen on Citigroup's earnings and a boost
in merger and acquisition activity in the U.S. healthcare
industry.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) had
gained 0.87 percent to 2,011.29 as of 0235 GMT, up from 1,993.88
at yesterday's onshore close.
    "Yellen's testimony tonight will have a considerable impact
on shaping the basic frame of future dollar movements and stock
movements as the effect will be widespread," said Cho
Byung-hyun, an analyst at Tong Yang Securities.
    Samsung C&T Corp gained 1.5 percent after
announcing it had won a $678 million order to build integrated
cultural facilities for a Dhirubhai Ambani International
Convention and Exhibition Centre (DAICEC) project in Mumbai from
Reliance Industries Ltd. 
    Samsung SDI also recovered from Monday's losses,
advancing by 1.5 percent, as German premium automaker BMW
 announced plans to increase orders of electric vehicle
battery cells by at least 20 to 30 percent from its exclusive
supplier in 2016. 
    Korea Line Corp, a marine transportation service
provider, added 0.7 percent after winning a 307 billion won
shipping contract from SNNC Co Ltd, expected to last until the
end of 2035. 
    Lead September futures on three-year treasury bonds 
edged up by 0.03 point to 106.77. 
    
                       0235 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won            1,024.6       1,018.2
 Yen/won           10.0807/906       10.0330
 *KTB futures           106.77        106.74
 KOSPI                2,011.29      1,993.88
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds

($1 = 1024.4000 Korean Won)

 (Reporting by Yena Park and Lydia Lim; Editing by Alan
Raybould)
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