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Won Worst Performing Asia Currency


The won has struggled during Monday's Asia session, currently sitting as the worst performing Asia currency. USD/KRW last up 8.10 at 1097.80, off session highs at 1098.90.

  • The greenback has moved higher, led by higher US yields as President Elect Biden calls for increased fiscal stimulus and bolstered by reports that US House Speaker Pelosi will bring legislation to impeach Trump this week.
  • The weakness in the won comes even as coronavirus cases drop. There were 451 cases reported in the last 24 hours, the smallest number in six weeks.
  • Trade data for the first 10 days of January earlier in the session showed exports dropped 15.4%, while imports rose 5.8% in the period, painting a fairly pessimistic period for global demand. Lower demand for oil products was the main drag, mobile communication device exports rose 43%.
  • President Moon Jae-in delivered his annual New Years address and said he hoped the nation would return to normal life this year and would work towards a fast and strong economic recovery.
  • The KOSPI has had a round trip session, earlier up around 3.5% after a strong rally last week, has erased gains and is broadly flat on the session. Foreigners were net sellers of KRW 530.5bn worth of shares on the main board. Retail investors net purchased more than KRW 2.6tn worth of shares by midday, though these flows look to have reversed.
  • Markets look ahead to unemployment data and Bank of Korea rate announcement later this week.

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