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South Korean Won Gains on Suspected Central Bank Intervention

South Korea’s won reversed earlier losses on speculation the central bank intervened to curb declines as the currency headed for its first annual drop in three years.

“Some banks placed orders suspected to come from the authorities to defend the won,” said Nam Kyung Tae, a Seoul-based foreign-exchange dealer at state-run Industrial Bank of Korea. “Market players were wary in the morning that they would step in” to keep the won from falling beyond 1,160 per dollar, he said.

The won gained 0.3 percent to 1,152.70 against the U.S. currency as of 1:47 p.m. in Seoul, taking its drop for the year to 2.3 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency fell as much as 0.5 percent earlier to 1,160.79.

Central banks intervene in currency markets to try and influence exchange rates.

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