Sun, Sep 01, 2019 - Page 14 News List

NT dollar rises; greenback mostly flat as yuan drops

Staff writer, with CNA and Reuters

The New Taiwan dollar on Friday rose against the US dollar, gaining NT$0.032 to close at NT$31.410.

That was mostly flat from a close of NT$31.402 on Aug. 23.

Turnover totaled US$812 million during the trading session.

The greenback opened at the day’s high of NT$31.440 and moved to a low of NT$31.345 before rebounding.

Elsewhere on Friday, the US dollar index was flat, with the offshore Chinese yuan headed toward its biggest monthly decline in 25 years as the two countries prepared for the implementation of new retaliatory tariffs today.

The index was 0.02 percent lower at 98.483, closing the month virtually unchanged after having been whipped around by trade headlines.

Against the US dollar, the offshore yuan was 0.2 percent weaker at 7.157, set for a 3.6 percent fall last month, its biggest monthly drop since 1994.

An additional 5 percent tariff on US$125 billion of Chinese exports to the US is to go into effect today, affecting consumer items from smart speakers to sneakers.

Investors fear the intensifying trade dispute could lead the US economy into a recession.

However, on Friday, trade fears were subdued after the two countries on Thursday discussed upcoming face-to-face negotiations this month and China declined to comment on whether it would respond in kind to US President Donald Trump’s latest round of tariffs.

The US dollar has remained afloat amid the trade war.

“Regardless of what the Trump team wants for the buck, it will continue to rise as long as the global economy sinks. That is a natural function of currency markets to pull money back into the US when the global economy is reeling. Capital flows are mobile and the primary source of [US dollar] demand is not foreigners — it’s US investors cutting exposure outside the US,” TD Securities global head of foreign exchange strategy Mark McCormick said.

Also supporting the US dollar was a report on Friday that US consumer spending increased solidly in July as households bought a range of goods and services.

However, while that might allay some recession fears, the strong pace of consumption is unlikely to be sustained amid tepid income gains.

The Japanese yen was last up 0.34 percent, on track for its biggest monthly gain in three months, as safe-haven assets have been buoyed by the US-China conflict.

The gains were partly fueled by a global rally in government debt, with yields in major developed markets pushing deeper into negative territory.

The “trade war thus far caused lower rates, not recession,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategists wrote in a note.

Elsewhere, the pound stabilized, despite the growing probability that Britain will exit the EU on Oct. 31 without a deal.

The Canadian dollar strengthened against its US counterpart after data showing stronger-than-expected GDP growth, but analysts doubted that the Bank of Canada would become more optimistic about the economy’s outlook at next week’s policy announcement.

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