Thu, Nov 30, 2017 - Page 12 News List

NT dollar moves below crucial NT$30 mark

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The New Taiwan dollar yesterday closed below the NT$30 mark against the US greenback for the first time in more than 38 months amid hot money inflows, traders said.

The NT dollar picked up NT$0.011 from Tuesday to close at NT$29.99 versus the US currency in Taipei on a combined turnover of US$1.123 billion on the Taipei Foreign Exchange and Cosmos Foreign Exchange markets.

It was the first time the NT dollar ended below the NT$30 mark since September 2014, dashing a popular belief that the central bank would intervene at the bell to support exporters.

Exporters should sell US dollars to strengthen their books and finance year-end bonus payouts, one currency trader said.

The appreciation came even as institutional investors trimmed their positions in local shares.

Foreign institutional investors yesterday slashed holdings by a net NT$6.74 billion (US$224.7 million), while mutual funds cut NT$170.55 million and proprietary traders increased stakes by a net NT$54.93 million, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

Hot money appears to be staying in Taiwan, despite the portfolio adjustments, the trader said.

The central bank has refrained from interventions after the US Department of the Treasury in October last year placed Taiwan on its currency monitoring list.

It said the central bank was intervening to stem the NT dollar’s rise to help Taiwanese exporters.

Traders expect the NT dollar to fluctuate at about NT$30 in the short run as the central bank has shown intolerance for excessive volatility.

The US currency would be buttressed by importers, who tend to buy the greenback when it nears the threshold, another trader said.

As of yesterday, the NT dollar has gained 7.09 percent this year, the central bank’s Web site said.

It has challenged the NT$30 level several times this year.

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