Korean Won Near One-Month Low as Exporters Seen Selling Dollars

  • Currency weakened 2.2 percent in three days through Monday
  • BOK forecast to hold policy rate at record low on Thursday

South Korea’s won traded near a one-month low on speculation exporters are selling dollars to pay bills as the end of the year approaches.

The currency rose 0.1 percent to close at 1,156.82 a dollar in Seoul, data compiled by Bloomberg show, near the 1,157.78 level reached on Monday that was the weakest since Oct. 9. The won lost 2.2 percent over the last three days, paring its gain this quarter to 2.5 percent.

"We saw dollar-selling orders piling in around the high-1,150 level and exporters’ demand will increase as the year-end approaches," said Kim Dae Hun, a foreign-exchange trader at Busan Bank in Seoul. "Real demand is driving the market as some traders are looking to close their books soon.”

South Korea will closely monitor its economy and financial markets as external uncertainties such as instability in China and the outlook for U.S. interest rates persist, the Finance Ministry said in a monthly economic assessment released Tuesday. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on Monday lowered its 2015 economic growth forecast for South Korea to 2.7 percent from 3 percent. That matches the Bank of Korea’s forecast.

The BOK will keep its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 1.5 percent on Thursday, according to all 18 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Consumption in Asia’s fourth-largest economy is improving and driving a recovery in production and investment, the Finance Ministry said in its report.  

Government bonds were steady, with the three-year yield at 1.79 percent and the 10-year yield at 2.28 percent respectively, Korea Exchange prices show.

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