Seoul closely monitoring the won’s decline


South Korean financial authorities said Thursday they are closely monitoring the recent weakening of the South Korean won. 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.


The South Korean won lost some 4.6 percent to the U.S. dollar over the past month, becoming one of the world’s worst-performing currencies. 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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