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CORRECTED-S.Korea won touches a 4-year low; shares hit lowest since February
August 12, 2015 / 3:05 AM / 2 years ago

CORRECTED-S.Korea won touches a 4-year low; shares hit lowest since February

(Corrects won milestone in 1st and 2nd paragraphs, company name
in 4th paragraph)
    By Yeawon Choi
    SEOUL, Aug 12 (Reuters) - The South Korean won fell sharply
to its weakest in almost four years against the dollar on
Wednesday morning, while stocks slid to a near six-month low
after China's central bank weakened the yuan's official
mid-point for a second day.
    The South Korean won was down 1 percent at
1,190.7 on the dollar. The won slid as much as 1.1 percent to
1,192.8, its lowest since Oct. 5, 2011.
    Local traders suspected dollar-selling smoothing operations
by foreign exchange authorities to curb the won's sharp fall.
    "The won fell sharply after China's central bank's
announcement, in line with other currencies such as the
Singapore dollar and the Australia dollar," said Jeon Seung-ji,
a foreign-exchange analyst at Samsung Futures.
    Jeon added the local currency could further fall for a
while, tracking the Chinese yuan.
    On the stock market, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index
(KOSPI) was down 1.4 percent at 1,959.56 points, the
lowest since Feb. 17. Losers outnumbered gainers 5.7 to 1.
    "Increased uncertainties over Chinese yuan after today's
news from China prompted investors to avoid betting on riskier
assets," said Park Seok-hyun, an analyst at Eugene Investment &
Securities.
    Domestic car makers jumped on expectations for higher 
exports due to a weak won.
    Market bellwether Hyundai Motor Co Ltd rose 6.1
percent while its affiliate Kia Motors Corp jumped
6.4 percent. Shares of Ssangyong Motor Co Ltd were
up 4.1 percent.
    The main board was pulled down by companies that rely on
Chinese tourists and Chinese domestic consumption.
    Hotel Shilla Co Ltd lost 5.6 percent and
Hanatour Service Inc fell 9.9 percent.
    Amorepacific Corp, a maker of cosmetic products
popular with Chinese tourists, dropped 9 percent while snack
maker Orion Corp slid 8.3 percent.
    Foreigners sold a net 63.3 billion won ($53.15 million) of
KOSPI shares by midday, and were on track to be net sellers for
a sixth straight session.
    September futures on three-year treasury bonds were
up 0.11 point at 109.47.
    
                      0237 GMT     Prev close
 Dollar/won            1,190.7        1,179.1
 Yen/won            9.5088/135         9.4138
 *KTB futures           109.47         109.36
 KOSPI                1,959.56       1,986.65
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds 

 (Additional reporting by Kyungho Lee; Editing by Richard
Borsuk)

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