Won Gains Most in Five Weeks as U.S. Jobs Data Weaken Dollar

South Korea’s won strengthened the most in more than five weeks as data showed the U.S. economy added fewer jobs than expected, cutting speculation the Federal Reserve will speed up moves to raise interest rates.

U.S. employment increased by 209,000 jobs in July, an official report showed last week, less than the 230,000 estimated in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which tracks the currency against 10 major peers, was little changed today after falling the most in three weeks on Aug. 1. The won posted its biggest loss in six months on Aug. 1 following a report which showed growth in the world’s largest economy rebounded in the second quarter.

“The won is recovering some of the losses it made on Aug. 1 as lower-than-expected U.S. jobs data slow dollar gains,” said Lee Dae Ho, a Seoul-based currency analyst at Hyundai Futures Corp. “It seems some investors are unwinding their long positions on the dollar.” A long position is a bet an asset will rise in value.

The won rose 0.3 percent to 1,033.55 per dollar at the close in Seoul, the biggest advance since June 26, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. One-month implied volatility, a gauge of expected swings in the exchange rate used to price options, dropped 34 basis points, or 0.34 percentage point, to 6.61 percent.

The yield on government bonds due June 2017 rose one basis point to 2.55 percent, according to Korea Exchange Inc. prices, while that on the March 2024 notes was little changed at 3.10 percent.

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