Sun, Nov 04, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Recovery outlook lifts Asian currencies for fourth week


Asian currencies had a fourth weekly gain, led by South Korea’s won, after data suggested the worst may be over for the global economy.

Chinese manufacturing expanded for the first time in three months as output and new orders climbed, a report showed on Thursday.

Taiwan released figures this week that showed its economy returned to growth in the third quarter, while US factory production increased at a faster pace than forecast last month and consumer confidence reached a four-year high.

“There’s optimism about the global economic recovery and that improves risk sentiment,” said Hideki Hayashi, a researcher at the Japan Center for Economic Research in Tokyo. “That is encouraging fund inflows into Asia and supporting the region’s stocks and currencies.”

The won strengthened 0.6 percent this week to 1,090.80 per US dollar in Seoul on Friday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The New Taiwan dollar was flat at NT$29.30 against the greenback, while China’s yuan appreciated 0.12 percent to 6.2415. Malaysia’s ringgit gained 0.1 percent to 3.0537 and Thailand’s baht rose 0.1 percent to 30.73.

The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index, which tracks the region’s 10 most-traded currencies excluding the yen, reached 117.98 on Wednesday, the highest level since Feb. 29 this year. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of shares rose 1 percent this week.

Emerging-market bond funds had net inflows of US$1.1 billion in the week through Wednesday, the eighth week in a row that inflows have exceeded US$1 billion, Morgan Stanley said in a report, citing data from EPFR Global.

China’s purchasing managers’ index climbed to 50.2 lat month from 49.8 in September. Fifty is the dividing line between expansion and contraction. Taiwan’s GDP grew 1.02 percent from a year earlier, after a 0.18 percent decline in the previous quarter.

Elsewhere, the Philippine peso strengthened 0.1 percent during the week to 41.175 per US dollar. Philippine financial markets were closed on Friday for a holiday. Indonesia’s rupiah lost 0.1 percent to 9,615, and India’s rupee weakened 0.4 percent to 53.8125. Vietnam’s dong was little changed at 20,850.

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