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S. Korea keeps close eye on won-dollar exchange rates: senior official


SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is keeping a close eye on the movement of the won-dollar exchange rates, a senior finance ministry official said Tuesday, expressing worries over herd behavior in the market.

His comments came as the won's ascent against the dollar has been accelerating, which spawns worries that a fast appreciation could destabilize the financial market and pose potential risks to the overall economy.

"Foreign currency authorities remain worried about one-sided movement in the won-dollar exchange rates," Vice Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho told reporters after attending an international conference in Seoul.

"The problem is that the exchange rates could move beyond the ordinary supply-and-demand range when speculative forces join (in the market)," he added. "Authorities are monitoring the market 24 hours a day."

He said that the eased upward pace of the won seen in the last few days reflects the government's strong signal that it "will not sit idle" in the face of what he calls excessive herd behavior.

On Friday, the finance ministry said in a message sent to reporters that it will take "stern" action against speculative forces in the financial market.

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