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S.Korean won falls on China concern; stocks defensive
March 9, 2016 / 2:56 AM / in 2 years

S.Korean won falls on China concern; stocks defensive

* Won down as risk avoided after China data
    * KOSPI under pressure but well supported

    SEOUL, March 9 (Reuters) - The South Korean won fell
against the dollar on Wednesday morning on renewed concerns
about the slowing Chinese economy, but traders were reluctant to
sell the currency aggressively before a host of central bank
meetings.
    The local currency lost 0.6 percent to 1,214.3
per dollar as of 0225 GMT, from its previous close of 1,206.7.
    The pressure on the won appeared to have come partially from
more gloomy data from China, South Korea's largest export
market. Trade figures from China on Tuesday suggested the
economic recovery remains fragile.
    "The won's weakness will likely be limited as traders await
the outcome from the European Central Bank's meeting tomorrow
and other major economic data releases," said Jeon Seung-ji, an
FX analyst at Samsung Futures.
    South Korea's central bank is also due to hold its monthly
policy meeting on Thursday, at which a majority of analysts
polled by Reuters expect the Bank of Korea to keep its policy on
hold although many see a rate cut by next month. 
    Other central bank meetings this week include Malaysia later
on Wednesday followed by New Zealand on Thursday. 
    South Korean stocks also came under pressure on concern
about the Chinese economy following Tuesday's trade data.
    The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was at
1,945.61 points as of 0225 GMT, little changed compared to its
previous close.
    South Korean steelmaker POSCO took a breather
and fell 3.6 percent after rising 13.6 percent over six days.
Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd was down by
0.7 percent, but traders expect it will benefit from plans to
launch a phone upgrade programme.
    Losing issues led gainers slightly by 404 to 363.
    Foreign investors were net sellers accounting for a modest
18.2 billion won ($15.00 million) worth of shares.
                       0225 GMT    Prev close
 Dollar/won             1,214.3       1,206.7
 Yen/won             10.7891/64       10.7326
 *KTB futures            110.25        110.20
 KOSPI                 1,945.61      1,946.12
 * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds
    
($1 = 1,213.7000 won)

 (Reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Choonsik Yoo & Shri
Navaratnam)

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