South Korean Currency Falls to 13-year Low Amid Global Recession Fears

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The South Korean won hit its lowest point against the U.S. dollar in nearly 13 years on Thursday, opening at 1,299 won and weakening to more than 1,300 in intraday trading, the New York Times reported. The last time the country’s currency breached the 1,300-won threshold was in the summer of 2009, toward the end of the global financial crisis. The won also passed this threshold during the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998. South Korea’s export-driven economy makes it particularly sensitive to conditions in the global economy, which have been deteriorating recently. Choo Kyung-ho, the nation’s deputy prime minister and the minister of economy and finance, warned of the need to prevent a further decline of the currency at a meeting with other officials in Seoul on Thursday morning. “If needed, we will make efforts to stabilize the market,” he said, while also calling for labor reforms and fair compensation. Inflation is rising in South Korea as policymakers in the United States are also struggling to contain runaway consumer prices. Read more.