Sun, Sep 16, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Speculation of US rate cut boosts regional currencies


Asian currencies made a weekly advance, led by the South Korean won, on speculation a cut in US interest rates will boost demand for emerging-market assets.

The won climbed to a four-week high as a report on Thursday showed the value of foreign investment increased last quarter as the economy grew at the fastest pace in almost four years. The US dollar fell to a record low against the euro as investors bet the Federal Reserve will cut its benchmark rate on Tuesday to revive the US economy, making Treasuries less attractive.

"Speculators are moving back into riskier assets and that means buying Asian currencies," said Steve Rowles, currency strategist at CFC Seymour Ltd in Hong Kong. "With some inflation concerns also in the region, that may also push up yields and help Asian currencies."

The won gained 1 percent to 928.30 per US$1 last week, Seoul Money Brokerage Services Ltd said. The Indonesian rupiah rose 0.2 percent to 9,383.

The New Taiwan dollar slipped 0.1 percent to NT$33.071 against the US currency.

The Philippine peso rose for a fourth week as supporters of former president Joseph Estrada failed to mount a threat to the government after his conviction for plunder. The currency climbed 0.5 percent in the week to 46.315.

Elsewhere, the Thai baht was little changed at 34.25.

The Singapore dollar gained 0.9 percent to S$1.5113 last week and the Malaysian ringgit climbed 0.7 percent to 3.4825.

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