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Seoul: Won rises to 5-month high, traders suspect central bank intervention

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[SEOUL] The South Korean won strengthened to its highest close in five months on Monday on broad weakness in the US dollar, while traders suspected the central bank intervened to stem the won's rise.

The won was quoted at 1,112.8 against the US dollar at the conclusion of onshore trade, up 0.87 per cent compared to Friday's close and the highest since 1,108.5 on Oct 11 last year.

The Bank of Korea was suspected of buying dollars to slow the won's gains as it hovered near a five-month high, according to multiple traders.

"I suspect it's the FX authority (taking position) just below 1,114 won. The won isn't gaining beyond that," a currency dealer in Seoul said.

The BOK declined to comment on whether authorities intervened in the currency market, or on the value of the suspected intervention.

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The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (Kospi) closed down 0.61 per cent at 2,155.66 points, the lowest close in a week after US stock markets closed down on Friday.

Offshore investors net purchased 36.4 billion won (S$45.79 million) worth of shares.


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