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Korean Won Climbs, Bonds Fall on IMF Forecast, Spain

South Korea’s won gained for the first time in three days and bonds slid as the International Monetary Fund raised its global economic growth forecast and Spain sold more debt than targeted.

The IMF predicted growth of 3.5 percent this year in its World Economic Outlook yesterday, compared with a January projection of 3.3 percent. It sees growth of 4.1 percent in 2013, up from 4 percent. Spain sold 3.18 billion euros ($4.2 billion) of debt yesterday, compared with the Treasury’s maximum target of 3 billion euros. The Kospi (KOSPI) Index of shares rose 1 percent, following a 1.6 percent advance in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index yesterday.

“Global stock gains following the revised economic forecast and Spain’s debt auctions will support the won at the mid-1,130 level,” said Lee Yong Hee, a Seoul-based currency dealer at the Industrial Bank of Korea.

The won strengthened 0.3 percent to 1,137.20 per dollar at the close in Seoul, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. One-month implied volatility for the won, a measure of exchange- rate swings used to price options, slid 40 basis points, or 0.40 percentage point, to 8.28 percent. Currency gains were limited on speculation overseas investors are repatriating dividends paid out by South Korean companies, according to Yun Se Min, a Seoul-based currency trader at Busan Bank.

South Korea’s government will strengthen monitoring and take timely action to address potential risks the economy faces, including rising oil prices and Europe’s debt crisis, Finance Minister Bahk Jae Wan said at a meeting today. Woori Finance Holdings Co., South Korea’s biggest bank holding company by assets paid dividends today.

The yield on South Korea’s 3.25 percent bonds due December 2014 climbed two basis points to 3.49 percent, Korea Exchange Inc. prices show. Three-year debt futures slid 0.08 to 104.04 and the one-year interest-rate swap advanced two basis points to 3.51 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jiyeun Lee in Seoul at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sandy Hendry at

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