The won was set to stall a three-week rally amid speculation South Korean authorities acted to limit the currency’s appreciation.
The Bank of Korea and the Finance Ministry probably bought $1.5 billion on May 14 and around half of that amount on May 20 to intervene in the foreign-exchange market, Cliff Tan, the Hong Kong-based East Asian head of global markets research for Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ wrote in a note yesterday.
Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok said this week that policy measures should be considered to ease volatility. Overseas investors bought $886 million more local equities than they sold this week, exchange data show.
“There’s not much momentum in the market,” said Son Eun-jeong, a Seoul-based currency analyst at Woori Futures. “Caution against intervention is preventing the won from appreciating, while foreigners buying local stocks and exporters selling dollars limit its decline.”
The won depreciated 0.1 percent for the week and today to 1,024.85 per dollar as of 10:17 a.m. in Seoul, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. One-month implied volatility, a gauge of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, fell three basis points for the week to 5.88 percent. The gauge dropped four basis points today.
The yield on the 3.5 percent notes due March 2024 fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, today to 3.40 percent and was one basis point higher than a week ago, Korea Exchange prices show. (Bloomberg)