Asian currencies fell this week, led by the South Korean won and India’s rupee, as concern about the pace of a global economic recovery and the risk of debt defaults deterred investment in emerging-market assets.
State-run Dubai World met with creditors to restructure US$26 billion of borrowings and Fitch Ratings downgraded its credit rating for Greece. US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Monday the US economy faces “formidable headwinds” that will keep expansion to a “moderate” pace.
The won slid 1 percent this week to 1,164.05 per US dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Indian rupee weakened 0.5 percent to 46.53 and the Singapore dollar dropped 0.6 percent to S$1.3892.
Malaysia’s ringgit traded near a one-month low as the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index lost 0.8 percent this week. The ringgit weakened 0.5 percent to 3.3995 per US dollar in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It reached 3.4125 on Dec. 9, the weakest level since Nov. 6.
The New Taiwan dollar weakened 0.3 percent to NT$32.278 against the greenback this week.
The Indonesian rupiah fell 0.3 percent to 9,443 and the Philippine peso dropped 0.3 percent to 46.13. The Thai baht was little changed at 33.10, while the yuan traded at 6.8277 from 6.8270 last Friday.
The US dollar advanced to a two-month high against the euro as a bigger-than-forecast increase in retail sales and consumer sentiment indicated the US economic recovery may be gaining momentum.
The US dollar appreciated 1.7 percent to US$1.4615 per euro this week, from US$1.4858 last Friday. It touched US$1.4586 on Friday, the strongest level since October.
The greenback decreased 1.6 percent to ¥89.10, from ¥90.56 last week. The euro dropped 3.2 percent to ¥130.24, from ¥134.54 last week.
Sterling fell for a fourth consecutive week, declining 1.3 percent to US$1.6259 on concern the UK government’s budget deficit will keep growing as the government spends more money to revive the economy.