Taiwan Dollar Completes Weekly Drop, Bonds Gain as Growth Slows

Taiwan’s dollar had a second weekly decline amid speculation policy makers are intervening to weaken the currency to protect exporters and support growth. Bonds advanced.

Central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan pledged last month to “maintain order” in the exchange rate, in response to questions from lawmakers in parliament. Foreign funds sold $180 million more of the island’s stocks than they bought in the first four days of this week, exchange data show. The currency snapped a three-day loss today after a report showed jobless claims in the U.S. fell to the lowest level since May 2008.

“Much of the weakness is driven by central bank policy that is deliberately weakening the currency,” said Andy Ji, a Singapore-based currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. “That has been going on for quite a while.”

The Taiwan dollar fell 0.4 percent this week to NT$30.369 against its U.S. counterpart in Taipei, according to Taipei Forex Inc. It was little changed today. The local dollar has gained 0.5 percent this quarter. The island’s benchmark Taiex stock index dropped 1.6 percent this week.

The number of applications for unemployment payments in the U.S. dropped by 19,000 to 366,000 in the week ended Dec. 10, a lower total than was forecast by any of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, according to government figures released yesterday.

Taiwan’s exports rose the least in more than two years in November as shipments to Europe slumped and faltering global growth curbed Chinese and U.S. demand. Overseas sales climbed 1.3 percent from a year earlier, compared with an 11.7 percent pace in October, official data show.

Bonds rose this week. The yield on the 1.25 percent government security due September 2021 fell about one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 1.25 percent, prices from Gretai Securities Market show. The rate held steady today.

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