Asian currencies fell this week, led by South Korea’s won and Indonesia’s rupiah, as investors fled emerging-market assets to avoid risk from a deepening global economic slump.
Nine of the 10 most-active currencies in Asia dropped over the five days as the MSCI Asia-Pacific Index slumped 6.8 percent, the biggest drop since the period ended Oct. 24.
The rupiah fell to a decade low on Friday after Bank Indonesia Governor Boediono said the deposit guarantee agency will take over the operations of PT Bank Century, the nation’s 13th-biggest lender by market value, to provide more security for customers.
The won declined 6.4 percent this week to 1,495 per dollar, according to Seoul Money Brokerage Services Ltd. It touched 1,525 a dollar on Friday, the weakest since March 1998.
The rupiah dropped 4.3 percent for the week to 12,100 per dollar.
The yen rose for a third week against the dollar and the euro on speculation the slump in global stocks will prompt investors to sell higher-yielding assets and pay back loans made in Japan’s currency.
The yen traded at ¥95.94 per dollar in New York, versus ¥97.14 a week ago.It was at ¥120.71 per euro from ¥122.39 last Friday.
The Philippine peso fell 0.9 percent this week to 49.82 per US dollar, after touching 50.17.
Elsewhere, the New Taiwan dollar dropped 0.8 percent this week to NT$33.079 against the US currency, India’s rupee slumped 1.9 percent to 50.0675 and the Singapore dollar weakened 0.9 percent to S$1.5301. Thailand’s baht fell 0.5 percent to 35.22 and Vietnam’s dong was little changed at 16,972.
The 15-nation euro surged to US$1.2587 in late New York trading on Friday, up from US$1.2507 late on Thursday but still off its high of US$1.2640 in overnight trading.
The British pound jumped to US$1.4908 from US$1.4812.
In other New York trading, the US dollar dropped to C$1.2685 from C$1.2842 late on Thursday, and dipped to 1.2225 Swiss francs from SF1.2233.