Taiwan’s dollar posted its biggest weekly decline in almost three months as stock inflows slowed and the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine boosted demand for the relative safety of U.S. assets.
Ukraine’s government said pro-Russia rebels shot down the Malaysian Airlines plane, killing all 298 people on board, while Israel sent ground troops into Gaza as a cease-fire with Palestinian militants collapsed. The reports sparked losses in emerging-market currencies and stocks, while buoying overnight moves in Treasuries. Overseas investors bought $31 million more Taiwanese equities than they sold this week, the smallest purchases since May, exchange data show.
Taiwan’s dollar depreciated 0.2 percent this week to NT$30.051 against its U.S. counterpart, prices from Taipei Forex Inc. show. That’s the biggest weekly decline since the five days ended April 25. It was little changed today.
“Because of the Malaysian Airline plane crash and geopolitical risks, funds may be leaving emerging markets and returning to the U.S. for refuge,” said Samson Tu, a Taipei-based fund manager at Uni-President Assets Management Corp. “Foreign funds may also be leaving Taiwan as it doesn’t look like stocks are going to rise any further.”
The island’s benchmark share index has fallen 1.8 percent since closing at the highest level since 2007 on July 15.
One-month non-deliverable forwards fell 0.1 percent this week to NT$29.995 against the greenback, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. One-month implied volatility, a gauge of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, increased 20 basis points, or 0.2 percentage point, this week and one basis point today to 2.55 percent.
The yield on the 1.125 percent government bonds due July 2019 decreased three basis points this week to 1.2 percent and was steady today.