Published : 2013-01-11 20:31
Updated : 2013-01-11 20:31
The South Korean won soared to a 17-month high against the U.S. dollar on Friday as rate freezes by central banks here and abroad prompted a weaker greenback, dealers said.
After breaching the 1,060 mark as soon as the market opened, the local currency ended at 1,054.70 won against the U.S. dollar, up 5.7 won from Thursday and the highest close since Aug. 2 last year.
The rate freeze by the Bank of England and the European Central Bank on Thursday caused the greenback to further depreciate, dealers said. Earlier in the day, the Bank of Korea decided to hold its key rate steady at 2.75 percent, contributing to the strength of the won.
Meanwhile, Korean stocks closed 0.5 percent lower Friday on institutional sell-off amid the central bank’s decision to freeze its key interest rate, analysts said.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 10.13 points to finish at 1,996.67. Trading volume was moderate at 466.5 million shares worth 4.36 trillion won ($4.13 billion) with losers outnumbering gainers 443 to 370.
“Concern over listed firms’ stagnant earnings in the fourth quarter continued to weigh down on investor sentiment amid the central bank’s decision to freeze the key rate,” said Bae Sung-young, an analyst at Hyundai Securities Co.
“However, the decrease was limited on improved economic data from China, the U.S., and the eurozone,” Bae added. “The KOSPI will continue to hover below 2,050 point until the end of January, when listed firms finish announcements of their fourth-quarter earnings.” (Yonhap News)