* U.S. Treasury places S.Korea on new monitoring list
* KOSPI set to mark a fourth losing session
SEOUL, May 2 The South Korean won opened
lower on Monday after the U.S. Treasury put the country on a new
monitoring list in a biannual report on exchange rates, but the
currency pared losses by midday.
The won was quoted at 1,139.8 per dollar down 0.1
percent compared to Friday's close of 1,139.3.
The Treasury report said South Korea has a significant
bilateral trade surplus and Korean authorities had intervened in
foreign exchange markets but it did not meet standards that
called for enhanced analysis.
South Korea has no plan to change its current stance on
smoothing plans in case of sudden one-sided changes in foreign
exchange trading, a foreign exchange authority told Reuters on
"Although the foreign exchange authorities say they will
keep engaging in smoothing operations, they won't be able to as
much as before following the U.S. report," said Jung Sung-yoon,
a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.
Jung added exporters' dollar sales were likely to support
the won on Monday.
South Korean shares slumped as foreigners and domestic
institutions sold stocks.
The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was
down 0.8 percent at 1,979.13 points.
Shares looked to to post their four straight losing session.
Offshore investors were set to be sellers, offsetting 52.2
billion Korean won ($45.80 million) worth of KOSPI shares near
mid-session, weighing on the index.
Decliners far outnumbered advancers 591 to 209.
The sub index for iron, steel and metal underperformed the
broader market, with major steelmaker Posco down 5.2
percent and Hyundai Steel Co down 3.8 percent.
Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
gained 0.2 percent, after falling 4.2 percent in the last two
June futures on three-year treasury bonds lost 0.01
point to 110.33.
0243 GMT Prev close
Dollar/won 1,139.8 1,139.3
Yen/won 10.7005/63 10.7563
*KTB futures 110.33 110.34
KOSPI 1,979.13 1,994.15
* Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
(Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Kim Coghill)