U.S. dollar closes higher on Taipei forex (update)

2017/05/18 18:44:44 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
U.S. dollar closes higher on Taipei forex (update)

Taipei, May 18 (CNA) The U.S. dollar rose against the Taiwan dollar on Thursday, gaining NT$0.085 to close at NT$30.225 as foreign institutional investors stayed on the sell side in the local equity market, giving a boost to the U.S. currency, dealers said.

The foreign selling of local equities reflected concerns over further volatility on Wall Street after reports that U.S. President Donald Trump interfered in an investigation into his former national security advisor, they said.

It was the second consecutive session the U.S. dollar moved higher against the Taiwan dollar.

The greenback opened at NT$30.210, and moved between NT$30.180 and NT$30.240 before the close of trading. Turnover totaled US$935 million during the session.

Soon after the local foreign exchange market opened, the U.S. dollar trended up against the Taiwan dollar on follow-through buying, and momentum continued to push up the U.S. currency, reflecting a plunge in the local equity market in the morning session, dealers said, though many moved their funds into the Japanese Yen as a safe haven.

The heavy losses on the local main board came after foreign institutional selling, with investors taking their cue from the 370-point drop on Wall Street overnight amid rising fears that Trump could face impeachment, they said.

Trump is entangled in political uncertainty after reports that the President asked former FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

In addition, the South Korean won, which the Taiwan dollar tracks closely, fell 0.8 percent against the U.S. dollar at one point also as a result of political uncertainty in the U.S, giving an additional push to traders to buy U.S. dollars, dealers said.

However, the Taiwan dollar recouped part of its earlier losses when the local equity market came off an early low on the back of bargain hunting, dealers added.

According to the Taiwan Stock Exchange, foreign institutional investors sold a net NT$3.86 billion (US$128 million) worth of shares on the main board on Thursday, when the weighted index closed down 0.44 percent at day's high of 9,969.45 points, off an early low of 9.895.65.

(By Bernie Chiu and Frances Huang)
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