The US dollar slid to a seven-month low against the euro and a six-week trough against the yen on Friday, after US economic data indicated the fourth quarter had made a sluggish start. \nThe decline shattered the tight ranges in which the dollar has traded in for months against the euro, adding a dose of momentum investors have long been wishing for. \nMarket watchers are now waiting to see if the dollar will move to new lows against the euro -- and the yen -- next week or if it will climb back into the US$1.1950-US$1.2460 range in which the dollar had been stuck since May. There are no major US data announcements Monday. In late trading, the euro was at US$1.2476 from US$1.2390 late Thursday. The dollar was at ¥109.17 from ¥109.58 Thursday and at a three-month low of SF1.2324 against the Swiss franc from SF1.2443 late Thursday. \nThe British pound climbed to US$1.8036 from US$1.7967. \nIn one of the more volatile sessions seen in months, the euro's initial surge came shortly after the release of Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State manufacturing survey, which slipped to a reading of 17.43 this month from 27.26 last month. The consensus forecast had been 25.6. \nThe dollar then suffered fresh losses following the release of mid-October's University of Michigan index, which showed consumer confidence dipped to 87.5 from last month's 94.2. Forecasts had indicated a 94.6 reading. \nThese moves sent the dollar to an intraday low of ¥108.81 and pushed the euro up as far as US$1.2505. The dollar got some relief after Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said that current record high oil prices would eventually "wash over." However, the Fed chairman also warned that consumer spending could be affected if oil prices stay put. \nIt was the first time Greenspan has spoken publicly since the release of the weak nonfarm payrolls data last Friday. Following Greenspan's comments, the euro slipped back below what had been the key resistance point of US$1.2460, but the single currency lifted again during afternoon trading. \nSteven Englander, chief currency strategist at Barclays Capital in New York said the dollar had lifted on the Fed chair's comments because he gave no indication the high oil prices would affect rate-tightening decisions. \n"The market was looking to see if Greenspan would at least give a nod to the idea that the effects of oil prices on the economy are strong enough to influence monetary policy, which he didn't do," Englander said. \nThe dollar's ups and downs had investors trying to work out where the dollar would go next. \nWhile the dollar was lower across the board against major currencies, it ended more or less flat against commodity currencies. The US dollar was at 1.2521 Canadian dollars from C$1.2553 late Thursday and the Australian dollar was at US$0.7301, slightly higher from US$0.7281 late Thursday.
STAYING AHEAD: Fitch said that TSMC remains technologically ahead of others, but Samsung is building a new chip fab, while China is investing in its domestic industry As escalating US-China tensions and COVID-19-related production disruptions force US technology supply chains to transform, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) US$12 billion chip fabrication plant in Arizona would be key to spurring greater US production of core semiconductor components, Fitch Ratings said. “We view the US-TSMC alliance as a first step in building a more autonomous US technology supply chain, given high barriers to entry, specifically related to the significant capital and design capability required for leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing,” Fitch said in a statement on Tuesday. “By working with TSMC, US chipmakers will not face the financial burden of incremental investment
DIVERSIFICATION: Although COVID-19 would push more companies to produce in emerging markets, DBS said that it was unlikely that firms would totally leave China Geopolitical tensions and supply disruptions are expected to accelerate the migration of manufacturing out of China, as concerns about the risk of production concentrated in one country increase, S&P Global Ratings said. Although its economic expansion might be weaker than previous levels due to the accelerated relocation of manufacturing, China’s economic growth would still be stronger than that of most other economies, the ratings agency said. “While absolute growth rates will moderate, we believe China’s economic performance will continue to be a key sovereign credit support,” S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Tan Kim Eng (陳錦榮) said in a statement on Thursday. “Its growth
Taiwan’s corporate landscape has changed significantly over the past 20 years, with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) replacing Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑) as the revenue leader, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) has emerged as the most profitable firm, a survey of Taiwan’s 50 largest companies published on Tuesday last week showed. The Chinese-language CommonWealth Magazine survey ranked Taiwan’s 50 largest companies based on their revenue last year, and compared them with the results of a similar survey it conducted in 2000. Only 33 companies on the original list remained in this year’s rankings, the survey found, following two
Luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Taipei (文華東方酒店) yesterday announced that it would suspend guestroom operations and lay off related staffers from Monday, as regional border controls and travel restrictions are unlikely to be lifted anytime soon. The partial shutdown would not affect the five-star hotel’s restaurants, bars, spa, and conference and banquet facilities, which this month have almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels, it said. “Mandarin Oriental Taipei will suspend all guestroom services from June 1 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the hotel said after four months of maintaining normal operations proved unsustainable. The change necessitates downsizing and the hotel is handling