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Sun, Jun 08, 2008 - Page 10 News List

Asian currencies decline en masse


Asian currencies declined last week, led by Thailand’s baht and the Philippine peso, on concern rising oil prices will widen the region’s trade deficit and fuel inflation.

The baht had its biggest weekly loss in three months as Bank of Thailand assistant governor Suchada Kirakul on Tuesday said the central bank had acted to curb excessive moves in the currency, without saying whether it bought or sold dollars. The peso had an eighth weekly decline after crude oil advanced more than US$5 a barrel on Thursday. All but one of the most-traded Asian currencies outside of Japan fell last week.

The baht fell 1.9 percent last week to 33.13 a dollar in Bangkok on Friday, data compiled by Bloomberg showed. The currency is expected to trade at between 32.50 and 32.95 this week, CIMB Investment’s Suresh said.

The peso was the second-worst performer in the region this week.

Indonesia’s rupiah was little changed from last week amid speculation Bank Indonesia will limit its losses to prevent inflation from accelerating.

The New Taiwan dollar added 0.3 percent to NT$30.335 last week. Singapore’s dollar was little changed in the week at S$1.3647, while Malaysia’s ringgit fell 0.6 percent to 3.2585.

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