Brocker.Org: The Korean won falls as South Korea heads to the polls

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The Korean
won
fell as South Koreans headed to the polls.

The won closed down by 0.7% at 1139.24 on Tuesday.

Polls in South Korea closed at 7 a.m. ET, although the final
results won’t be known until later. Liberal Moon Jae-in
is expected
to beat his conservative
opponent, former prosecutor Hong Joon-pyo.

Tuesday’s election result is “unlikely” to have a huge effect on
the Korean economy, Gareth Leather and Krystal Tan, economists at
Capital Economics, said.

“Moon’s Democratic Party (DPK) not only lacks a majority in
parliament but his policy proposals are nowhere near bold enough
to address the challenges facing the economy,” they argued in a
note.

However, if Moon wins, that would bring an end to about a decade
of conservative leadership in Korea, and could lead to shifts in
South Korea’s relationships with North Korea and China.

He’s in favor of dialogue with North Korea in order
to mollify the rising regional tensions. T
here is
also the possibility that a Moon presidency could lead to
improved relations between China,
according to Bloomberg

“A softer stance toward China is particularly important, in our
view,” Jan Dehn, head of research at Ashmore
Group, said in a note. He explained in greater
detail:

“With the US withdrawal from TPP and China’s stated
pro-globalization stance South Korea’s longer-term interest may
be shifting towards China and away from the US, especially if the
US becomes more protectionist. Philippines has already
become more ambiguous towards the US, so if South Korea follows
suit Japan will find itself increasingly isolated in the Pacific
Rim.”

As for the rest of the world, here’s the scoreboard as of 7:51
a.m. ET:

  • The
    US
    dollar index

    is up by 0.4% at 99.49. “The dollar
    continues to recover against the Japanese yen,” Marc Chandler,
    global head of currency strategy, wrote.
  • The euro
    is down by 0.3% at 1.0888 against the dollar. German industrial
    production fell by 0.4% month-over-month in March, below
    expectations of an increase of 0.6%.
  • The British
    pound
    is down by 0.2% at 1.2916 against the dollar
    after data released
     by the Retail Sales Monitor from
    the British Retail Consortium on Tuesday showed that retail
    sales in April surged 5.6% versus a year ago after slipping 1%
    in March.
  • The Japanese
    yen
    is down by 0.6% at 113.92 per dollar.

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