Rupee slide eases, dollar up vs. yen


AFP

TOKYO — The dollar’s surge against the Indian rupee took a breather on Friday after hitting record highs for most of the week, although upbeat manufacturing data from around the world helped the greenback against the yen. However, traders remain on edge — particularly in emerging markets — about the U.S. Federal Reserve’s stimulus program after minutes from the bank’s July meeting failed to clarify its future. The Indian rupee, which tumbled to another record low of 65.56 to the dollar on Thursday, was changing hands at 64.45 in Friday afternoon trade. India’s finance minister and central bank governor both tried to calm investors Thursday by reiterating that New Delhi does not plan to introduce capital controls, a fear that had weighed on the unit earlier this week. The Indonesian rupiah inched down to 10,963 to the dollar from 10,958. The Thai baht firmed to 31.94 to the dollar against 32.12, with the greenback’s drop below the 32.00 psychological barrier implying a Thai baht recovery off its lows, as stocks in Asia mount a relief rally led by Japan, traders said.

Expectations of an end to the stimulus have seen foreigners in recent months repatriate some of the vast sums that have poured into emerging economies, in turn hitting currencies and equities. National Australia Bank said in a note early Friday that while there was still pressure on units such as the rupee and rupiah “there has not been the severe stress in emerging markets that we saw mid-week.” The dollar climbed to 99.03 yen in Tokyo from 98.68 yen in New York Thursday afternoon, giving a boost to exporters and helping the Nikkei index on the Tokyo stock market close the afternoon up 2.21 percent. The euro bought US$1.3338 and 132.05 yen compared with US$1.3354 and 131.80 yen. Against other Asian currencies the dollar fell to 1,116.43 South Korean won from 1,122.7 won, to 44.26 Philippine pesos from 44.14 pesos, and to SG$1.2805 from SG$1.2840. The Australian dollar was at 90.05 U.S. cents against 90.01 cents. The Chinese yuan fetched 16.13 yen against 16.04 yen.