NT dollar down NT$0.037NT

By Sandra Chuang, The China Post

The NT dollar yesterday ended weaker on a report that GDP growth for the first quarter hit a 26-year low. The exchange rate against the U.S. dollar fell NT$0.037 to close at NT$33.495, amid a daily turnover of US$587 million.

The exchange rate was quoted at NT$33.446 to one U.S. dollar when the market opened, but continued to drop to a 32-month low of NT$33.492 by 12:00 p.m. on speculation that the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) could cut its GDP growth forecast in the afternoon. While the exchange rate retained a mild downturn for most the afternoon session, the Central Bank of China (CBC) unexpectedly let the currency drop to NT$33.699 against the greenback 10 minutes before the market closed, but again took strong intervention to help the rate to stand at NT$33.495.

Traders said it appeared that the CBC yesterday had taken measures to keep the local currency trading around the NT$33.495 level for most of the session. The sudden drop in the afternoon session suggested that the CBC attempted to ease the tension of further deprecation of the local currency.

The NT dollar traded between NT$33.699 and NT$33.446 yesterday.