Bloomberg News

Korea Won Slips to Two-Month Low on Global Data; Bonds Decline

March 23, 2012

South Korea’s won dropped to a two- month low as reports spurred concern the global economic recovery is losing steam, sapping demand for riskier assets. Government bonds declined.

Euro-area services and manufacturing output shrank more than economists forecast in March, while a preliminary survey signaled China’s manufacturing may contract for a fifth month, figures showed yesterday. The Kospi Index of stocks snapped a three-day decline as overseas funds bought more of the nation’s shares than they sold for the first time in three days.

The won fell 0.4 percent to 1,135.35 per dollar at the close in Seoul, the weakest level since Jan. 20, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency fell 0.8 percent for the week, posting a third consecutive loss. The currency’s one- month implied volatility, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, slid 18 basis points to 8.25 percent.

“Recent data from China and Europe may spur risk-averse sentiment, making the won weaken to and stay at the 1,130 per dollar level,” said Cho Young Bok, a Seoul-based currency dealer at Daegu Bank. “We may see overseas investors demanding the dollar for conversion as Korean companies start paying out dividends.”

The yield on the 3.25 percent notes due December 2014 climbed one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 3.63 percent, Korea Exchange Inc. prices show. For the week, the rate advanced four basis points. Three-year debt futures fell 0.04 percent to 103.47 today, while the one-year interest-rate swap was steady at 3.56 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jiyeun Lee in Seoul at jlee1029@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sandy Hendry at shendry@bloomberg.net


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