Whenever you are interested in an exchange rate you are actually interested in two currencies due to the fact that the value of a currency must always be quoted in comparison to a second currency.
So it follows that if you are determining the best time to transact, in this case the USD vs KRW, you should pay attention to both United States Dollar and South Korean Won news and forecasts.
14-December-18: Against a basket of currencies, the US dollar struck an 18-month high in mid-December after negative political and economic developments weighed on rest-of-the-world currencies. At the time of writing, the dollar was showing trade-weighted appreciation of 6 percent for 2018 and was on course to gain in 10 of the year’s 12 months.
The dollar had strengthened to levels near $1.13 against the euro, which suffered due to disappointing eurozone economic data and Brexit-related uncertainties.
Brexit allowed the dollar to gain handsomely against the pound in 2018. On December-11, GBP/USD traded below 1.25 for the first time since early 2017.
The economic slowdown in China has also helped the dollar by creating safe haven flows into the US. The dollar has yet to reach the magic 7-yuan level but remains close to it, at levels near 6.9.
For 2019, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are both bearish the greenback. The banks remain skeptical over future Fed interest rate hikes and point to a possible US economic downturn in the second half of the year.
Scotiabank is forecasting EUR/USD at $1.30 by 2019 year-end, indicating a potential 13 percent decline in the dollar’s buying power.
26-November-18: The South Korean won likes to trade in ranges. Since July it has been contained, for the most part, between 1110 and 1140 to the dollar. The current range developed after June’s violent break from the previous range that existed between 1060 and 1085 in the first half of the year, and that range preceded a sharp break from yet another range that developed in 2017.
At the time of writing, the won had bettered many Asian currencies with a year-to-date loss of only 5.6 percent versus the dollar (unchanged against the euro). While this appears favourable for the won, it puts the currency at risk of underperforming in the coming half-year.
HSBC said in October that any intensification in US-China trade tensions could weigh heavily on the won. Trade tensions act to reduce the risk appetite of investors and to lower expectations for Chinese economic growth, which greatly affects the broader Asia-Pac region.