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Taiwan Dollar Strengthens and Bonds Fall on Europe Debt Optimism

Taiwan’s dollar rallied by the most in five weeks and government bonds fell on optimism European policy makers will be able to resolve their debt crisis.

The Taiex index of shares rose the most in a week after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said they “want Greece to stay in the euro” at a joint press conference yesterday. Foreign funds bought $334 million more of the island’s stocks than they sold today, according to exchange data. Taiwan reported toward the end of currency trading yesterday that exports gained 0.6 percent from a year earlier in December, the least in 26 months.

“The export numbers were bad, but the positive sentiment across Asian markets today overrode that,” said James Wang, a fixed-income trader at Yuanta Securities Co. in Taipei. “Market moves are going to be limited before the presidential election” on Jan. 14, he said.

The island’s dollar strengthened 0.5 percent to NT$30.051 against its U.S. counterpart, according to Taipei Forex Inc. That’s the biggest gain since Dec. 1. The yield on the 1 percent notes due January 2017 gained one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 0.986 percent, prices from Gretai Securities Market show.

The overnight money-market rate, which measures interbank funding availability, was unchanged at 0.40 percent, according to a weighted average compiled by the Taiwan Interbank Money Center.

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