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Korea Won Gains to Three-Week High as Exporters Convert Income

May 30 (Bloomberg) -- South Korea’s won advanced to its strongest level in three weeks on speculation exporters are converting earnings. Government bonds rose.

The currency gained for a third day after U.S. Treasury Department assistant secretary for international finance Charles Collyns said South Korea should be more flexible in managing the won and let it appreciate, according to the Korea Economic Daily.

“Exporters are selling dollars to translate their income at the end of the month, pushing up the won,” said Seo Jeong Hun, a currency analyst at Korea Exchange Bank in Seoul. “The comments from the U.S. Treasury official are giving more room for the won to rise, even though concerns that authorities may try to slow rapid won gains seems to be capping further increases.”

The won climbed 0.2 percent to 1,080.10 per dollar at the 3 p.m. close in Seoul, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency touched 1,078.70, the strongest level since May 11.

Asian countries must improve cooperation with one another to cope with possible financial risks as they are still vulnerable to capital flows, South Korean Vice Finance Minister Yim Jong Yong said at a forum on Asian bond markets in Seoul today.

The yield on South Korea’s 3 percent note due December 2013 fell two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 3.58 percent, according to prices from Korea Exchange Inc.

To contact the reporter on this story: Seyoon Kim in Seoul at skim7@bloomberg.net

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

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