Sun, Dec 18, 2011 - Page 10 News List

NT dollar declines for second week

Bloomberg

The New Taiwan dollar had a second weekly decline amid speculation that policymakers are intervening to weaken the currency to protect exporters and support growth.

Central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) pledged last month to “maintain order” in the exchange rate, in response to questions from lawmakers.

Like other Asian currencies, the NT dollar snapped a three-day loss on Friday after a report showed that jobless claims in the US fell to the lowest level since May, 2008.

“Much of the weakness is driven by central bank policy that is deliberately weakening the currency,” said Andy Ji, a Singapore-based currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “That has been going on for quite a while.”

The Taiwan dollar fell 0.4 percent this week to NT$30.369 against its US counterpart, according to Taipei Forex Inc, but has gained 0.5 percent this quarter.

Other Asian currencies strengthened, paring weekly declines, after the US government report about jobless claims buoyed the region’s export outlook.

India’s rupee led gains as the Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index rose 0.4 percent on Friday, trimming the week’s drop to 0.4 percent. India announced measures to curb speculation in the currency market, while Fitch Ratings upgraded Indonesia’s credit ranking to investment grade of “BBB-.”

The rupee jumped 1.7 percent to 52.7450 per US dollar in Mumbai on Friday, the biggest gain since May last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The rupee strengthened after the Reserve Bank of India said companies could enter into multiple forward contracts to cover a single overseas transaction. It pared gains as the monetary authority, which has raised interest rates 13 times since the start of last year to cool inflation, kept them unchanged at a policy review in Mumbai.

The Philippine peso rose 0.7 percent to 43.830, paring this week’s loss to 0.5 percent.

China’s yuan climbed 0.4 percent to 6.3484 and was up 0.3 percent for the week. The yuan strengthened the most in two months as signs that credit curbs are easing bolstered optimism that policy makers would avoid a sharp slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. The People’s Bank of China set its daily reference rate 0.1 percent stronger at 6.3352 per US dollar on Friday, after fixing it weaker for three days.

The South Korean won strengthened 0.4 percent to 1,158.73, trimming its weekly drop to 1 percent.

Indonesia’s rupiah gained 0.6 percent to 9,035 and was up 0.5 percent for the week. The currency advanced as much as 0.9 percent earlier, touching a one-week high.

Malaysia’s ringgit advanced 0.4 percent on Friday to 3.1778 per US dollar and was down 0.8 percent for the week.

Thailand’s baht was up 0.1 percent at 31.34 and declined 1.3 percent this week.

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