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Sun, Jan 03, 2010 - Page 10 News List

Dollar’s first gain in months trims loss for the year

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The US dollar posted its first monthly gain since June versus the currencies of major US trading partners as the US Federal Reserve moved closer to withdrawing stimulus measures that helped cause the greenback to fall 4.2 percent for the year.

The dollar advanced to a three-month high against the yen and rallied versus the euro after the Fed said at the conclusion of its Dec. 16 meeting that job losses are “abating.” The greenback pared its annual decrease against the Australian dollar and Norwegian krone as a surge in Treasury yields made the US currency less attractive as a funding vehicle for the purchase of higher-yielding assets.

The dollar appreciated 4.8 percent to US$1.4321 per euro on Thursday, from US$1.5005 at the end of November, paring its loss for last year to 2.5 percent. The US currency advanced 7.7 percent to ¥93.02, from ¥86.41, and gained 2.6 percent for the year. It touched ¥93.15 on Thursday, the highest level since Sept. 7. The euro increased 2.7 percent to ¥133.20 last month and advanced 5.1 percent last year.

The pound posted its first annual gain against both the dollar and the euro since 2006 last year and gilts had their first loss in a decade as evidence mounted that the UK is emerging from its longest recession on record.

The UK currency rose 1.1 percent against the US dollar in the holiday-shortened week to US$1.6138 as of 3:30pm on Thursday in London, extending its gain for the year to 11 percent. At the end of 1999, the pound traded at US$1.6182. The pound climbed 1.7 percent since last week to £0.8873 per euro, appreciating 7.9 percent in the 12 months.

Asian currencies strengthened this year, led by Indonesia’s rupiah and South Korea’s won, as regional economies led the recovery from a global slump.

The New Taiwan dollar strengthened 2.6 percent to NT$32.03 versus the greenback, the best annual performance since 2004. It reached a 15-month high of NT$31.948 on Thursday.

Elsewhere, India’s rupee gained 4.4 percent this year to 46.64 per dollar, Thailand’s baht rose 4.1 percent to 33.33, Singapore’s dollar climbed 3.1 percent to S$1.4014, and the Philippine peso advanced 2.8 percent to 46.225. China’s yuan and Hong Kong’s dollar were little changed at 6.8270 and 7.7551, respectively.

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