Taiwan dlr rises on exports, foreign fund inflows
Reuters - 2 hours 43 minutes ago
TAIPEI, Dec 8 - The Taiwan dollar closed stronger for a second straight session on Monday, as exporters sold U.S. dollars and foreign fund inflows into a resurgent stock market further supported the local currency.
The Taiwan dollar <TWD=TP> rose to a high of T$33.490 in intraday trade, but later pared some of the gains to close at T$33.517, compared with the previous day's close of T$33.549.
The Taiwan dollar had been weakening over the past week due to worries over the global economy but has firmed in the past two sessions.
Volume on the Taipei Forex Inc exchange was thin at $636 million, but higher than Friday's $482 million.
One reason for the thin volume was declining revenue by exporters, leading to smaller U.S. dollar inflows into Taiwan, some dealers said. They added that the thin volume could continue for some time.
"Some exporters were buying the Taiwan dollar when it was above T$33.500, but that slowly tapered off when it started rising," said a dealer.
Exporters generally prefer a weaker Taiwan dollar as it allows them to get more of the local currency for every unit of the U.S. dollar.
On the non-deliverable forwards market, six-month NDFs fell to -0.100/-0.050 from the previous close of -0.140/-0.085, meaning investors expect the Taiwan dollar to firm less than previously thought.
Weighing on the outlook for the local currency were dismal export figures.
Taiwan's exports in November fell 23.3 percent from a year earlier, worse than forecast and the sharpest decline in seven years, finance ministry data showed. [ID:nTP359712]
Dealers said the central bank was unlikely to allow the Taiwan dollar to appreciate further from the current level to maintain the competitiveness of the island's exports.
The island's economy is heavily export-reliant and a weaker Taiwan dollar would make their products cheaper in overseas markets.
"The Taiwan dollar was riding on the back of the stock market. Many foreign funds were buying into Taiwan stocks, but not many were selling U.S. dollars," said another dealer in Taipei, who expects the local currency to trade at between T$33.400 and T$33.550.
Foreign institutions were net buyers of Taiwan stocks for the first time in five sessions, with T$3.943 billion of net foreign funds flowing into the stock market.
Taiwan stocks <.TWII> rose 4.57 percent on Monday, posting their biggest gain in five weeks, as tech and financial shares rallied on Wall Street gains. [ID:nTP354869]
On the smaller Cosmos exchange <COSMOS1>, the Taiwan dollar rose to T$33.518 from the previous close of T$33.554.
(Reporting by Kelvin Soh and Argin Chang, Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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