February 28, 2017 / 6:59 AM / 7 months ago

S.Korean won ends near 19-week high; stocks edge up

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SEOUL, Feb 28 (Reuters) - The South Korean won finished at a near 19-week high on Tuesday, as exporters sold dollars at the month-end while the greenback’s gains were capped in global markets.

The won was quoted at 1,130.7 to the dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, its highest since Oct. 20, 2016. It was up 0.3 percent compared with Monday’s close of 1,133.7.

South Korea’s central bank chief Lee Ju-Yeol’s comment that some increase in fiscal spending was needed to spur economic growth also provided support for the currency.

South Korean shares ended slightly higher with the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) closing up 0.3 percent at 2,091.64 points.

For the month, the local currency rose 2.8 percent while the KOSPI gained 1.2 percent marking three straight months of gains.

South Korea’s special prosecutor’s office said it would charge Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee and four other executives with bribery and embezzlement amid a political scandal that has rocked the country, but had little impact on the stock market.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd ended its trade up 1 percent.

Foreign investors turned to net buyers, purchasing 60.5 billion won ($53.56 million) worth of KOSPI shares for the day.

South Korean markets will be closed on Wednesday for a public holiday. (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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