Thursday, July 19, 2007

Won on a win-win Roll?

Bloomberg this morning:

Won Climbs to Highest This Year; Ringgit Gains

By Jake Lee

July 19 (Bloomberg) -- The South Korean won rose to the strongest this year on signs growth in Asia is accelerating.

The currency has strengthened almost 1 percent in July as the central bank and government raised this year's growth forecasts. Vice Finance Minister Kim Seok Dong said today the government will stabilize the won when necessary. China's economy, South Korea's biggest export market, grew at the fastest pace in 12 years in the second quarter, a report today showed.

``It's a fairly optimistic growth picture in Korea, though gains in the won are going to be measured,'' said Emmanuel Ng, a currency strategist at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. in Singapore. ``The authorities are careful of won strength.''

The won gained as much as 0.2 percent to 914.70 and closed 0.01 percent stronger at 916.00 as of 3 p.m., according to Seoul Money Brokerage Services Ltd. It was last higher on Dec. 8.

Exports to China jumped 28.7 percent in the first 20 days of last month, a report showed July 2. Overall, goods sent overseas, which account for 40 percent of Korea's economy, rose 15.9 percent in June, beating the 12 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 11 economists.

Malaysia's ringgit rose by the most in more than two weeks on speculation the central bank will announce measures to boost the foreign-exchange market. The bank said it was not aware of such plans.

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