Sun, Feb 02, 2020 - Page 14 News List

NT dollar and safe havens rise against the greenback

Staff writer, with CNA and Reuters

The New Taiwan dollar on Friday rose against the US dollar, gaining NT$0.027 to close at NT$30.250, but shedding 0.8 percent from NT$30.006 on Jan. 22, the last day of trading before the Lunar New Year holiday.

Turnover totaled US$1.839 billion during the trading session.

The greenback opened at the day’s high of NT$30.280 and hit a low of NT$30.160 before rebounding.

Elsewhere on Friday, the safe-haven yen and Swiss franc gained as fears escalated about the global economic impact of a coronavirus outbreak in China.

The Australian dollar fell to a four-month low against the US dollar, while China’s offshore yuan struggled to find a footing in the wake of the virus outbreak.

The WHO late on Thursday declared the coronavirus outbreak a global emergency, but opposed travel restrictions, saying that China’s actions would “reverse the tide” of the disease’s spread, somewhat reassuring markets.

However, the US and other countries on Friday tightened travel curbs and businesses said that they were facing supply problems because of the outbreak.

“The steady drumbeat of negative headlines combined with government reactions to the spread of the virus is still roiling markets a bit and it’s hard for markets to find that stability,” Jefferies Group LLC managing director Brad Bechtel said in New York.

US data on consumer spending and personal income did push the US dollar a little higher against the yen and euro, as core consumer prices as measured by the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index last month rose 0.2 percent after edging up 0.1 percent the previous four months.

That lifted the annual increase in the so-called core PCE price index to 1.6 percent in December last year, from 1.5 percent a month earlier.

However, investors remained transfixed on the casualties from the virus and feared its effects on the global economy, including businesses such as airlines and hotels.

China’s offshore yuan gave up earlier gains and was last down against the US dollar. The greenback added 0.1 percent to 6.9884 yuan, although that was some way off the 7.0038 level the yuan dropped to on Thursday.

The US dollar fell 0.1 percent against the yen to ¥108.84 in morning trading and dropped 0.3 percent versus the Swiss franc to SF0.9668.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars, both sensitive to sentiment in China, fell to new multi-month lows.

The New Zealand dollar dropped 0.5 percent to US$0.6464, after earlier touching a two-month low. The Australian dollar lost 0.3 percent to US$0.6699, hitting a four-month low earlier in the session.

Both have shed more than 1.5 percent this week and the Australian dollar has dropped more than 4 percent this month, leaving it poised for its worst month since May 2016.

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