Won Falls a Third Day as China, Commodities Deter Risk-Taking

  • Kospi index of shares declines for the first time this week
  • Korean economic growth picked up last quarter, survey shows

The won fell for a third day as concern the economy of China, South Korea’s biggest export market, will keep slowing and falling commodity prices deterred risk-taking.

Foreign funds were net sellers of Korean equities for a second day as the Kospi index dropped for the first time this week. Chinese industrial output and fixed-asset investment figures for September missed estimates, while a Bloomberg gauge of raw materials prices has dropped this week. The Bank of Korea lowered its 2015 growth forecast to 2.7 percent from 2.8 percent at its Oct. 15 policy meeting.

“Overnight there was risk-off, partly because of the lower commodity prices," said Sim Moh Siong, a foreign-exchange strategist at Bank of Singapore Ltd. “The Korean won follows risk sentiment very closely. There are still lingering worries about China."

The won fell 0.5 percent to 1,138.50 a dollar in Seoul, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency has weakened 1.5 percent since Monday, when it rose to a three-month high of 1,120.61. It’s rallied 4.1 percent this month in the best performance in Asia after Indonesia’s rupiah.

South Korea’s economy grew 2.4 percent in the three months through September from a year earlier, compared with 2.2 percent in the previous period, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before data due Friday.

Ten-year government bonds fell for a fourth day. The yield on the notes due June 2025 rose one basis point to 2.12 percent in Seoul, Korea Exchange prices show. The three-year yield was little changed at 1.66 percent.

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