South Korea’s won is proving to be Asia’s most resilient currency as a recovery in exports from the world’s biggest shipyards outweighs gains in the dollar.
The won rose 1.4 percent against the greenback this month, the only one of 11 Asian peers tracked by Bloomberg to advance, after plunging 7 percent in the first half of 2013. Bank of America Corp. sees the won gaining 4.1 percent to 1,080 per dollar by year-end, while the median forecast of 29 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg is for a 1.6 percent drop to 1,144.
Ship deliveries, which as recently as 2011 were South Korea’s biggest exports, increased last month for the first time in a year amid a resurgence in global trade. That’s helping boost a current-account surplus that the Bank of Korea predicts will climb to a record $53 billion this year.
“Rising dollar flows from shipbuilders are in accord with the Bank of Korea’s optimistic forecast on its current-account surplus,” Lee Jaewoo, the chief Korea economist at Bank of America in Seoul, said in an interview. “The won is much more stable now.”