Sun, Oct 23, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Asian currencies fall on faltering growth, Europe


Asian currencies completed the worst week in a month, led by India’s rupee, as concern that the region’s economic growth is faltering prompted global funds to withdraw cash.

Data this week showed China’s GDP rose at the slowest pace in two years.

Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said on Thursday that the Thai economy may contract this quarter as the worst floods in five decades disrupt production.

The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index fell 0.4 percent, the first decline since the week ended Sept. 30, before Europe’s finance ministers meet in Brussels today. The rupee fell past 50 per US dollar for the first time since 2009.

“Growth outlook has weakened and inflation remains stubbornly high” in the region, said Jonathan Cavenagh, a Singapore-based senior currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp.

The New Taiwan dollar fell for a second day on Friday after data showed that export orders rose at the slowest pace in two years. Government bonds were steady with yields at the lowest level this week.

Overseas orders, an indication of shipments in the next one to three months, grew 2.72 percent last month from a year earlier, the government reported toward the end of currency trading on Friday. The median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a 3.46 percent increase.

“The weak export orders data just adds to more and more evidence that Taiwan’s economy will slow,” said James Wang, a fixed-income trader at Yuanta Securities Co (元大證券) in Taipei.

The NT dollar weakened 0.1 percent to NT$30.299 against its US counterpart this week, according to Taipei Forex Inc. It touched NT$30.351 on Friday, the lowest level this week.

The rupee slumped 2 percent this week to 50.0250 per US dollar in Mumbai and touched 50.3238 earlier, the weakest level since April 2009. Thailand’s baht retreated 0.7 percent to 31.01 per US dollar and Malaysia’s ringgit lost 0.6 percent to 3.1498 per US dollar.

China’s yuan gained 0.1 percent to 6.3840 per US dollar. Indonesia’s rupiah slipped 0.2 percent to 8,863 per US dollar and the Philippine peso retreated 0.2 percent to 43.44 per US dollar. South Korea’s won appreciated 0.8 percent to 1,147.50 per US dollar.

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