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South Korea Surplus Rises

By Park Sae-jin Posted : June 29, 2011, 09:47 Updated : June 29, 2011, 09:47
South Korea’s surplus widened to seven-month high in as car and steelmakers boosted overseas shipments and dividend payments to foreign shareholders shrank. The surplus was measured at $2.26 billion the Bank of Korea said in a statement in Seoul today. The current account is the broadest measure of trade, tracking goods, services and investment income.

South Korea’s exports have climbed at a double-digit pace since November 2009 and hit a record in April even as the won appreciated. A slowdown in US growth and the fallout from Europe’s sovereign debt crisis risk weighing on shipments.

The stronger won may help ease inflation pressure, which the Bank of Korea has tried to contain by raising interest rates three times this year.

Total exports on a customs-cleared basis rose 22.4 percent last month from a year earlier, compared with a revised 23.7 percent gain in April, according to today’s statement. Imports climbed 30.3 percent after expanding a revised 24 percent in April.

Moreover, overseas shipments rose 17.6 percent this month, the smallest gain in four months, according to Bloomberg News.

Some analysts remain unsure if the recent surplus maybe able to cushion the Korean market from a looming debt crisis and Greece threatening not only European markets, but also markets internationally, especially as Korean investors remain heavily tied to FOREX markets.

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