Reuters - Financials

South Korean won, shares rise as China stocks steady

By Yeawon Choi     SEOUL, July 29 The South Korean won and shares rose by midday on Wednesday as investors turned less risk averse after Chinese shares steadied, while market focus shifted to the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy decision later in the day.     The local currency was also underpinned by domestic exporters' demand for month-end settlements.        The South Korean won  was up 0.6 percent at 1,157.4 to the dollar as of 0238 GMT, touching a morning high of 1,156.5, its strongest in a week.     "The Fed's view will not be much changed and the Fed will reiterate a gradual rise in rates based on U.S. data, so the won will hover around the 1,154 to 1,165 level after the Fed's statement," said Jung Sung-yoon, a foreign exchange analyst at Hyundai Futures.     Jung added that market participants would be cautiously waiting for U.S. GDP data due later in the week, which could affect the Federal Reserve's rate decision. Market sentiment was  earlier this week hurt by a collapse in Chinese stocks.     By mid-morning, the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) was up 0.5 percent at 2,049.82 points.      "A rise in the won also helped local equities as recent weakness in the won will leave offshore investors with exchange rate losses," said Cho Byung-hyun, a stock analyst at Yuanta Securities.     Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, which makes up 12 percent of the main board's market value, gained 3.3 percent to 1,269,000 won.     Lotte Shopping Co Ltd rose 4.2 percent after South Korean media reported that founding family members at parent Lotte Group appeared to clash this week over the control of a key holding company. It soared as much as 13.1 percent to a two-month high in morning trade.      September futures on three-year treasury bonds were up 0.02 points at 109.37.                        0238 GMT     Prev close  Dollar/won            1,157.4        1,164.9  Yen/won            9.3792/862         9.3830  *KTB futures           109.37         109.35  KOSPI                2,049.82       2,039.10  * Front-month futures on three-year treasury bonds    (Additional Reporting by Yena Park; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)


Reuters: Financials

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