Won Advances on Current-Account Surplus, Exporter Dollar Sales

South Korea’s won rose to a three-week high as the nation’s current-account surplus widened and exporters sold dollars at the end of the quarter.

The excess in the broadest measure of trade rose to $4.52 billion in February from $3.29 billion in the previous month, the central bank reported today. Exports (KOEXTOTY) probably expanded 4.4 percent in March from a year earlier, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before data due tomorrow. The trade figures will support positive views on the won, Jeon Seung Ji, a Seoul-based analyst for Samsung Futures Inc., wrote in a note today.

The won appreciated 0.3 percent to 1,065.90 per dollar as of 9:58 a.m. in Seoul, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It touched 1,065.38, the strongest level since March 11. The currency advanced 0.2 percent for the month and weakened 1 percent for the quarter.

“Exporters selling the dollar at the quarter-end will support the won,” said Jude Noh, Seoul-based chief currency trader at Suhyup Bank. “Betting on further appreciation will be limited as recent easing of U.S. and Chinese economic concerns have already been reflected in the won’s gains.”

The won posted the biggest five-day gain since September last week as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said he is confident of keeping economic growth in a “reasonable range” and U.S. consumer confidence rose to a six-year high.

One-month implied volatility for the won, a gauge of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, rose seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage point, to 6.86 percent.

Government bonds fell, with the yield on the 3.125 percent sovereign bonds due March 2019 increasing one basis point to 3.16 percent, Korea Exchange data show. The rate has declined four basis points since the notes were issued on March 11.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Regan at jregan19@bloomberg.net Robin Ganguly

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