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S. Korea's currency hits 30-month high on risk appetite, U.S. dollar's slump

All News 11:31 December 03, 2020

SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's won currency jumped to a 30-month high against the U.S. dollar Thursday, buoyed by risk appetite over coronavirus vaccine developments and the dollar's prolonged slump.

The won was quoted at 1,099.90 won per U.S. dollar as of 10:25 a.m., up 0.9 won from the previous session's close.

It was the highest level since June 15, 2018, when the risk-sensitive currency was trading at 1,087.30 won against the U.S. dollar.

The won is likely to breach the key psychological level of 1,100 won intraday, analysts said.

The won, along with other peers, has strengthened against the U.S. dollar due to optimism over vaccine developments and U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's transition to power.

The U.S. dollar has also been weakening since the U.S. Federal Reserve said in its September rate-setting meeting that it will keep interest rates near zero until inflation is on track to meet its 2 percent target.

So Byung-eun, an analyst at NH Futures, said the won is expected to strengthen Thursday because of the weaker U.S. dollar and net purchases of local stocks by foreign investors.

Last month, Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki said financial authorities have been closely monitoring the foreign exchange market, warning that they are ready to take action at any time to smooth out the local currency's sharp gains.

Hong voiced concerns about the Korean currency's rapid strength against the U.S. dollar, saying that excessive currency volatility is not desirable.

S. Korea's currency hits 30-month high on risk appetite, U.S. dollar's slump - 1

kdh@yna.co.kr
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