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Won Drops as South Korea Says Fluctuations Are Excessive

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- South Korea’s won fell for a second day after Deputy Finance Minister Choi Jong Ku said action needs to be taken to curb “excessive” fluctuations in the exchange rate. Government bonds declined.

The currency retreated from a 14-month high after Choi said at a press briefing in Gwacheon that various steps are being studied to address won volatility, and measures on foreign-exchange forward positions may be announced next week. The won opened higher as global stocks advanced after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr announced a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

“There is speculation the government intervened today to stem the won’s gains,” said Byeon Ji Young, a Seoul-based currency analyst for Woori Futures Co. “Whether this will succeed in curbing the appreciation trend will depend on the effectiveness of policy measures to be announced.”

The won fell 0.2 percent to 1,085.73 per dollar in Seoul, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It earlier touched 1,080.05, the strongest level since Sept. 9, 2011. One-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, fell 10 basis points, or 0.10 percentage point, to 5.70 percent.

The yield on the government’s 2.75 percent bonds due September 2017 climbed three basis points to 2.90 percent, a one-month high, Korea Exchange Inc. prices show. The one-year interest-rate swap was little changed at 2.78 percent.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net

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