* Won on track for worst week since mid-March
* Stocks down, shipbuilders weigh
SEOUL, July 11 The South Korean won eased
against the dollar on Friday morning, heading for its worst
weekly loss in nearly four months, as troubles at Portugal's
largest listed bank led investors to take short positions.
"As a knee-jerk, investors are going short on risks first
and assessing later," said Hyundai Futures analyst Lee Dae-ho.
The local currency was quoted at 1,017.2 against
the dollar as of 0213 GMT, down 0.4 percent from Thursday's
close of 1,013.4.
The won was down 0.8 percent for the week so far, heading to
its biggest weekly percentage loss since a 1.1 percent drop in
the week that ended on March 14.
Hyundai's Lee added that dovish comments by the Bank of
Korea's governor had only had a subdued impact in the market,
indicating that the weakness in the won is unlikely to persist.
Stocks slumped worldwide on Thursday and investors flocked
to safe-haven government bonds and gold on fears problems at
Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo could herald a wider slump in
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 0.5 percent at 1,991.59 points, dropping 0.9 percent so far
in the week.
"Worries over earnings are pervasive, while the Portugal
bank situation triggered risk-averse sentiment," said Han
Beom-ho of Shinhan Investment Corp.
Shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries dropped 1.8
percent and hit its lowest price level this year, while Samsung
Heavy Industries fell 2.1 percent.
"The shipbuilding industry has been suffering from an
extended orders drought, and we expect to see it struggling
until the end of August, when the earnings season ends," said
Simon Jeon, an analyst at Daishin Securities.
Domestic institutional investors were the biggest net
sellers, offloading 85 billion won ($83.56 million) worth of
local shares and appearing poised for a ninth consecutive day of
The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was down 0.7
percent, while the junior KOSDAQ edged 0.1 percent
Lead September futures on three-year treasury bonds
was up 0.06 points at 106.84 on demand by domestic institution
0213 GMT Prev close
Dollar/won 1,017.2 1,013.4
Yen/won 10.0415/345 9.9951
*KTB futures 106.84 106.78
KOSPI 1,991.59 2,002.84
* Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
($1 = 1017.2000 South Korean Won)
(Reporting by Lydia Lim; Editing by Eric Meijer)