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S.Korea won down for 3rd day, stocks find support from China GDP
April 16, 2014 / 3:17 AM / 4 years ago

S.Korea won down for 3rd day, stocks find support from China GDP

* KOSPI rises after three-day falling streak
    * Won falls to one-week low in third day of losses

    By Christine Kim
    SEOUL, April 16 (Reuters) - The South Korean won slipped to
a one-week low on Wednesday on dollar demand linked to dividend
payouts, while stocks edged up following three days of losses
after data showed China's economy grew slightly more than
expected in the first quarter.
    The local currency was quoted at 1,042.1 against
the dollar as of 0233 GMT, down 0.1 percent from Tuesday's
onshore close at 1,040.9 in its third straight day of declines.
The won reached 1,044.7 shortly after markets opened, its
weakest since April 9.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up
0.1 percent at 1,993.38 points.
    The won had found some support after Chinese data showed the
world's second-largest economy grew an annual 7.4 percent in
January-March period. 
    "On China's growth, we think this is roughly the bottom. The
second quarter will likely be better than the first quarter on a
sequential basis, we think the economy will accelerate,"
Frederic Neumann, managing director and co-head of Asian
economic research at HSBC, said in Seoul after the release of
the data.
    But the won quickly lost ground on dollar demand from
foreign stock investors converting their dividends paid by South
Korean companies.
    Investors were awaiting a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve
Chair Janet Yellen, who was due to speak on monetary policy and
the economic recovery before the Economic Club of New York at
1625 GMT on Wednesday.
    On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury in its semiannual currency
report said South Korea should limit foreign exchange
intervention to times of market disorder and increase the
transparency of interventions. 
    South Korean authorities did not comment on the report.
    Meanwhile, foreign investors purchased a net 45.5 billion
won ($44 million) worth of KOSPI shares by midsession,
buttressing the index.
    Among notable stocks, Hanssem Co Ltd rose 2.2
percent after the furniture maker announced a 40 percent
year-on-year jump in operating profit for the January-March
quarter.
    Emart slid more than 4 percent after its
earnings report for the latest quarter showed sluggish growth in
the country's biggest discount store chain.
    The KOSPI 200 benchmark of core stocks was up 0.1
percent, while the junior KOSDAQ rose 0.4 percent.
    June futures on three-year treasury bonds ticked
down 0.02 point to trade at 105.71.
    
                       0233 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won            1,042.1       1,040.9
 Yen/won           10.1887/976       10.2050
 *KTB futures           105.71        105.73
 KOSPI                1,993.38      1,992.27
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
($1 = 1040.8500 Korean Won)

 (Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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