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Won Rallies To Fresh Multi-Month Highs, Will Kospi Play Catch Up Today?


1 month USD/KRW closed near 1288 in NY, fresh lows back to early July of this year. For Tuesday's session the won gained 1.33% (in 1 month NDF terms). The won was one of the stronger performers within the EM Asia FX space post the US CPI miss. Spot should see some catch up this morning when onshore markets open, after closing at 1304.40 yesterday.

  • The equity lead is positive for the Kospi today, with tech outperforming overnight. Interestingly, both the SOX and MSCI IT indices are threatening to or have broken above their respective 200-day MAs. The SOX closed above this level 2821.53 (2816.5 for the 200-day MA), but the MSCI IT index could not.
  • In the past week or so the Kospi has lagged the better tech tone, see the chart below (Kospi and SOX Indices plotted). In any event the won is outperforming current onshore equity trends.
  • Offshore investors were sellers of local equities yesterday, with $100mn in net outflows.
  • On the data front, the Nov unemployment rate has already printed, coming in at 2.9%, in line with forecasts. Jobs growth continued to ease (2.3% y/y from 2.4%), with slower momentum in the manufacturing sector (2.3% y/y from 4.7%) the main drag.
  • The South Korean Finance Minister has also been on the wires this morning, stating that the current economic backdrop is a difficult one and may worsen in H1 next year.

Fig 1: Kospi & SOX Trends

Source: MNI - Market News/Bloomberg

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