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Won Strengthens on GDP Beat


The won is stronger, USD/KRW moving lower despite greenback strength. The pair last trades at 1111.00, 2.20 lower, off session lows at 1109.45.

  • Data released earlier showed preliminary Q1 GDP above estimates. Q/Q printing 1.6% vs estimates of 1.1%, Y/Y growth at 1.8% vs estimates of 1.2%. Exports, consumption and investment all helped lift the figure.
  • As mentioned previously BoK Governor Lee said in April that annual growth was likely to be above the 3% forecast in February, while median private sector estimates are for 3.5%. Risks to the outlook are posed by a potential fourth wave of coronavirus and tighter restrictions.
  • South Korea reported 512 daily new virus cases, keeping below 600 on Tuesday as health authorities accelerated the country's inoculation drive. Health officials have designated this week as a special period to stop the current pace of the outbreak. Dining-in by civil servants will be banned, and working from home as well as working half time or part of business hours will be expanded in the public sector, the authorities said. They added that tougher rules will be considered if the current infection trend continues.
  • Markets await retail sales data at 0300BST/1000HKT.

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