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Taiwan Dollar Drops, Bonds Gain on Europe Debt-Crisis Concerns

Taiwan’s dollar fell to its lowest level in more than a week as concern European nations will have their credit ratings cut curbed demand for emerging-market assets. Government bonds advanced.

The Taiex Index of shares fell as much as 1.4 percent after Moody’s Investors Service said the European Union’s summit last week did little to address the region’s debt crisis and doesn’t diminish the risk of downgrades. Fitch Ratings said a comprehensive solution hasn’t yet been offered and predicted a “significant economic downturn” in Europe.

“Asian currencies, including the Taiwan dollar, are weaker as turmoil in the European market continues,” said Tarsicio Tong, a trader at Union Bank of Taiwan in Taipei. “The economic outlook for 2012 is not so bright and currencies may continue to weaken. But the central bank would probably like to see the Taiwanese dollar trading in a range.”

The Taiwan dollar fell 0.1 percent to NT$30.26 against its U.S. counterpart in Taipei, according to Taipei Forex Inc. It touched NT$30.310, the weakest level since Dec. 1. Global funds sold $9.4 billion more Taiwanese shares than they bought this year, the biggest net sales in Asia, exchange data show.

Asian economies face “much greater downside risks” now because of the possibility of recessions in the U.S. and Europe and the threat of destabilizing capital flows, the Asian Development Bank said on Dec. 6. The biggest challenge for policy makers in emerging East Asian nations is to safeguard growth against the threat of another global economic crisis, the Manila-based lender said in its Asia Economic Monitor report.

The yield on the government’s 1.25 percent bonds due September 2021 fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 1.26 percent, prices from Gretai Securities Market show.

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