TAIPEI — The U.S. dollar rose against the New Taiwan dollar Friday, gaining NT$0.003 to close at the day’s high of NT$33.005 in a slow session as many foreign traders were away from the market for the Christmas holiday.
Taiwan’s central bank entered the market again to prop up the U.S. dollar, which came under pressure as local exporters rushed to sell the U.S. currency for New Taiwan dollars to meet their need for funds with the year coming to an end, they said.
The greenback opened at NT$32.842 and moved to a low of NT$32.721 before rebounding. With many foreign traders absent, however, turnover totaled only US$232 million during the trading session.
The U.S. dollar opened lower against the New Taiwan dollar as traders locked in gains on the greenback from a day earlier after Taiwan’s central bank intervened and pushed the American dollar higher.
It remained weaker as the session progressed on seasonal demand for the local currency, which could continue until the end of the month, dealers said. Several major currencies in the region, such as the Japanese yen and the Chinese yuan, gained strength against the U.S. dollar, further prompting traders here to pick up the New Taiwan dollar, they said.
Another factor weighing against the greenback Friday was the net purchase of NT$2.09 billion (US$63.32 million) in shares on the Taiwan stock exchange, which added to demand for the New Taiwan dollar.
The U.S. dollar fell below the NT$32.8 mark at one point, but Taiwan’s central bank intervened to push it back to the NT$33 level, dealers said.
It was the seventh consecutive session in which the U.S. dollar closed above NT$33, a level the market believes the central bank wants to maintain.
Despite the central bank’s intervention, turnover remained low as many foreign traders were on vacation, dealers said, adding that the slow trading is expected to continue until foreign traders return to the trading floor after the New Year’s holiday.