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South Korean Won Gains as North’s Rocket May Have Failed

South Korean Won Advances as North Korea Rocket May Have Failed
South Korean people watch a TV screen reporting North Korea's rocket launch at a train station in Seoul. Photographer: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

South Korea’s won climbed the most in almost three weeks after the government said a rocket launch by its northern neighbor failed.

The won gained 0.6 percent to 1,133.73 per dollar as of 9:11 a.m. in Seoul, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Kospi index of stocks jumped 0.7 percent as U.S policy makers signaled that interest rates will remain low. North Korea launched a rocket around 7:39 a.m. local time, South Korean defense ministry spokesman Kim Min Seok said in a televised briefing. The South’s government said the launch was a failure, while Japan said the projectile likely fell into the sea.

“This would be the way a rocket launch would be best accepted by the market as it happened before onshore markets opened in Korea, and also it fell into the sea right after launch,” said Ryoo Hyun Jung, a Seoul-based chief currency dealer at Citibank Korea Inc.

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