Taiwan’s dollar strengthened and government bonds fell as better-than-expected U.S. economic data and optimism Greece will get a bailout encouraged risk-taking.
Stock indexes rallied across Asia after the U.S. reported yesterday that jobless claims declined to the lowest in almost four years. European governments are considering cutting interest rates on emergency loans to Greece and using contributions from the European Central Bank to plug a new financing gap in the second rescue package for Athens, two people familiar with the talks said. The Taiex index of shares rose 0.3 percent today and surpassed 8,000 on Feb. 15 for the first time in six months.
“Risk sentiment is great today as we have some good job numbers from the U.S.,” said Ivy Leung, a Taipei-based fixed-income trader at Polaris Securities Co. “The Taiex broke the 8,000 psychological level. If stocks continue to rally, it’ll put pressure on bond yields to rise.”
The Taiwan dollar strengthened 0.2 percent to NT$29.583 against its U.S. counterpart, according to Taipei Forex Inc. The currency weakened 0.1 percent this week.
The yield on the government’s 1.25 percent bonds due March 2022 climbed one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 1.272 percent, prices from Gretai Securities Market show. Benchmark 10-year rates dropped three basis points this week and touched 1.26 percent yesterday, the lowest closing level since Dec. 19.
The overnight money-market rate, which measures interbank funding availability, was little changed today and this week at 0.399 percent, according to a weighted average compiled by the Taiwan Interbank Money Center.