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Greenback ends at NT$29.910 in Taipei

TAIPEI -- The U.S. dollar rose against the New Taiwan dollar yesterday, gaining NT$0.01 to close at NT$29.910 after moving in a narrow range, as traders kept a close eye on a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 nations in Washington, dealers said.

The local central bank stepped in, again, late in the trading session to prop up the greenback, helping the currency recoup its earlier losses in an attempt to avert the negative effects of the New Taiwan dollar's appreciation, they said.

The U.S. dollar opened at the day's high of NT$29.940, and moved to an early low of NT$29.830 before rebounding. Turnover totaled US$727 million during the trading session.

Although the U.S. unit fluctuated in ranged trade, it continued to trend lower against the New Taiwan dollar during most of the trading session before the local central bank intervened, dealers said.

The U.S. dollar weakened on the local foreign exchange market as traders here took cues from a rebounding Japanese yen, and bought into the New Taiwan dollar before the central bank intervened, dealers said.

However, buying in the local currency was limited as traders were closely watching the April 18-19 G-20 meeting, particularly to see whether the finance ministers and central bankers would rebuke Japan for a monetary policy that has resulted in a sharp drop of its currency.

In early April, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) announced a plan to increase its bond purchases to 7.5 trillion yen (US$76.3 billion) a month, far beyond the 5.2 trillion yen expected by the market, and double the country's monetary base.

The BOJ liquidity easing measures has sent the yen into a tailspin and triggered a currency depreciation competition in Asia.

In the wake of a falling South Korean won, the local central bank entered the trading floor in late trade Thursday to sell the New Taiwan dollar in exchange for the U.S. dollar, helping to vault the greenback back into positive territory, dealers said.

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