The South Korean won fell against the Japanese yen and US dollar after rising to 5-month and 1-week highs, respectively during Friday's early Asian trading.
The stock market in South Korea opened higher and is trading in positive territory today, taking cues from Wall Street. The benchmark KOSPI Index opened Friday's session at 1,289, higher than its previous close of 1,277, and is currently trading at 1,281, up 3.88 points, or 0.30%.
The South Korean won that hit a weekly high of 1309.60 against the US dollar in the early Asian session on Friday pared gains thereafter. The won eased to 1353.35 against the greenback by 11:45 pm ET, compared to yesterday's close of 1330.60. The dollar-won pair is presently quoted at 1341.25. If the won slips further, 1391.8 is seen as the next likely target level.
Across the Atlantic, investors are keenly awaiting the US non farm payrolls report that is scheduled to be released at 8:30 am ET. Economists expect the report to show 660,000 job losses in March from 651,000 jobs lost in the previous month.
At 10:00 am ET, the U.S. Institute for Supply Management will release its non-manufacturing report for March. The index is expected to improve marginally to 42.0 in March from 41.6 in February.
Also, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak in Charlotte, North Carolina at 12:00 pm ET, just after Federal Reserve Vice-Chairman Donald Kohn speaks in Wooster, Ohio.
The South Korean won weakened against the yen after rising to a 5-month high of 13.2235 during Friday's early Asian trading, by about 9:20 pm ET. The South Korean currency lost ground and hit as low as 13.5575 by about 11:50 pm ET, with next downside target level seen at 14.10. The yen-won pair closed Thursday's deals at 13.3845.
Yesterday, the Bank of Korea said South Korea's foreign exchange reserves increased 2.3% month-on-month in March to US$206.34 billion. In February, it was US$201.54 billion.
The increase in the reserves was mainly due to a weakness in the U.S. dollar, which boosted the dollar value of assets in other currencies. The increase recorded in March was the most in nearly three years.
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