Thu, Dec 07, 2017 - Page 12 News List

US dollar gains ground amid local equity sell-off

Staff writer, with CNA

The US dollar yesterday rose against the New Taiwan dollar, gaining NT$0.017 to close at NT$30.010 in the wake of a plunge on the local equity market caused by a sell-off by foreign institutional investors, dealers said.

The gains posted by the US dollar against the NT dollar also reflected weakness in other regional currencies, which helped the greenback return to the NT$30 mark by the end of the session, the dealers said.

The US dollar opened at the day’s high of NT$30.050 and moved to a low of NT$29.990 before rebounding.

Turnover totaled US$469 million during the trading session.

Soon after Taiwan’s foreign exchange markets opened, the US dollar staged a rebound from a slump seen a session earlier and its strength continued as traders took their cues from a falling local equity market, they said.

The selling in local equities focused on large-cap electronics stocks, in particular Apple Inc concept stocks, amid worries over iPhone X shipments, they said.

Foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$11.1 billion (US$370 million) of shares on the main board, sending the weighted index down 1.64 percent at yesterday’s close, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

Despite the heavy selling by foreign institutional investors, the NT dollar did not plunge along with local shares, which led dealers to think foreign institutional investors were keeping most of their funds in Taiwan instead of moving them out of the nation.

The NT dollar was also affected by losses suffered by other regional currencies, including the won, which the NT dollar closely follows, dealers said.

The won fell about 0.8 percent against the US dollar after high-tech stocks in Seoul were badly hit.

The US dollar is expected to stay firmer ahead of a US Federal Reserve policymaking meeting scheduled for next week, as a US interest rate increase is widely anticipated, dealers said.

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