Sat, Mar 20, 2004 - Page 10 News List

NT dollar slips, authorities vow to maintain stability

By Joyce Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday declined by NT$0.025 to close at NT$33.253 against the US greenback on the Taipei foreign exchange market, on turnover of US$1.219 billion.

The local currency earlier fell as low as NT$33.27 on news that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was injured by gunfire on the eve of the presidential election. But dealers said the central bank had intervened in the market to contain the fall.

"If any irregular factors make the foreign exchange rate too volatile, the central bank will enter to adjust the rate, in a bid to maintain order in the foreign exchange market," the bank said in a statement yesterday evening.

The foreign exchange market will open as normal on Monday, the bank added.

Despite the incident, the foreign exchange market did not fluctuate greatly yesterday. But an analyst said that the assassination attempt tuned out to be a short-term shock to the foreign exchange market.

"The foreign exchange market is not affected by the president's shooting since supporters showed self-restraint and no irrational move was taken," said Renee Chan (詹茹心), deputy manager in the marketing department at HSBC Asset Management Ltd (匯豐中華證券).

But Chan warned that the market may be negatively affected if irrational moves were taken by supporters after today's election that scare away foreign investors.

The NT dollar market yesterday opened at NT$33.228, reaching a high of NT$33.16 and a low of NT$33.29 during the session. It has risen 2.1 percent this year against the greenback as the local stock market attracted huge capital from overseas investors.

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