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Seoul closely monitoring the won's decline

Economy 17:04 May 16, 2019

SEJONG, May 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korean financial authorities said Thursday they are closely monitoring the recent weakening of the South Korean won, and will take steps to curb the currency's decline, if necessary.

The local currency closed at 1,191.5 won against the U.S. dollar on Thursday, marking a 28-month low against the greenback over deepening trade frictions between the United States and China.

The U.S. has raised its import tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on US$200 billion worth of Chinese products. In a tit-for-tat response, China announced Monday that it would levy higher tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods.

"We are concerned about excessive volatility (in financial markets) and we are closely monitoring whether there is an excessive one-sided movement," an official said.

It remains unclear whether South Korea would intervene in the foreign-exchange market.

South Korea's financial authorities sold $187 million in the second half of 2018 to help stabilize the market, the Bank of Korea said in March.


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