The New Taiwan dollar recorded its biggest weekly gain since October last year on speculation the Chinese government will deploy stimulus to boost economic growth.
The NT dollar climbed 0.3 percent this week and 0.1 percent on Friday to NT$30.552, according to prices from Taipei Forex Inc.
That is the biggest five-day advance since Oct. 4 last year.
The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index, which tracks the region’s 10 most-active currencies, jumped 0.5 percent from March 21, snapping a two-week decline.
One-month non-deliverable forwards strengthened 0.5 percent this week and 0.2 percent on Friday to NT$30.465 against the greenback, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Other Asian currencies rose this week, with the rupee and the won completing their biggest gains in six months, as speculation mounted that China will take steps to combat a slowdown in the region’s biggest economy.
The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index, which tracks the region’s 10 most-active currencies, advanced 0.6 percent this week. It fell 1 percent in the past two weeks.
The yen fell 0.6 percent to ￥102.83 per US dollar in a second weekly loss. Japan’s currency has dropped 1 percent this month.
India’s rupee strengthened 1.7 percent versus the dollar and South Korea’s won advanced 1.1 percent, the best performances since September last year, and Malaysia’s ringgit climbed 1.1 percent, its biggest gain since October last year.
The yuan appreciated 0.2 percent this week, trimming its loss for the year to 2.5 percent.
The Philippine peso rose 0.95 percent this week, Indonesia’s rupiah added 0.6 percent.
Thailand’s baht weakened 0.3 percent.
The euro dropped for a second consecutive week versus the US dollar for the first time in almost five months on speculation European Central Bank (ECB) and US Federal Reserve monetary policies are deviating.
The 18-nation currency touched the lowest level in a month amid comments from policy makers, from Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann saying there is low risk of deflation, to ECB Governing Council member Jozef Makuch citing higher risks of deflation.
The euro fell 0.3 percent to US$1.3752 this week in New York, after dropping 0.9 percent last week. It touched US$1.3705 on Friday, the lowest level since Feb. 28.
The currency last depreciated for two straight weeks in the 10 trading days ended on Nov. 8 last year. It has lost 0.4 percent this month.
The shared currency rose 0.3 percent versus the yen to ￥141.40 and has gained 0.7 percent this month.
South Africa’s rand climbed the most among the greenback’s 31 major counterparts this week, rallying 3 percent, while Brazil’s real was the second-biggest winner, gaining 2.8 percent.
An equally weighted basket of the so-called dollar-bloc currencies — those of Australia, New Zealand and Canada, all commodity producers — rallied to 102.61 this week, the highest level since Oct. 22, against the yen and the US dollar.
The Aussie gained 1.8 percent this week, the most since the five days ended on Feb. 7, to US$0.9247. It touched US$0.9295 on Friday, the highest since Nov. 21 last year.
The euro weakened 1.1 percent in the past three months in a basket of 10 developed-nation currencies tracked by Bloomberg Correlation-Weighted Indexes.
The US dollar dropped 1.2 percent, while the yen strengthened 1.4 percent.
Sterling gained versus the euro and dollar this week as UK retail sales including auto fuel increased 1.7 percent last month from a month earlier.