South Korea Heads South

By Jack Crooks

One of my readers recently asked about the fundamentals of South Korea and the eventual impact it might have on the South Korean won.

My simple answer: Considering the dynamics of the financial crisis, South Korea doesn’t look to be in an optimal position and their currency is very vulnerable.

More specifically, recent estimates call for slower GDP growth in South Korea. The culprit of slower growth is a struggling export market. Slumping exports are becoming commonplace.

In fact, so many emerging markets are realizing that they can’t cut it if the U.S. is excluded from the global economic equation. Not to mention you can’t count on Europe anymore, because the Eurozone is following in the U.S.’s sinking footsteps. And China can’t fill the void on its own.

And now that S&P has threatened to cut the credit ratings on a handful of major Korean banks, the South Korean stock market and currency are taking a hefty beating. After falling a whopping 9.7% versus the dollar overnight, it appears that the won is in for more trouble.

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