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US dollar closes lower at NT$30.552 in Taipei

TAIPEI -- The U.S. dollar fell against the New Taiwan dollar Friday, shedding NT$0.03 to close at NT$30.552 as foreign institutional investors continued to pick up local shares, boosting demand for the local currency, dealers said.

Buying in the New Taiwan dollar also reflected expectations that China would come up with economic stimulus measures soon, which could lend support to the currencies in the region, dealers said.

However, the U.S. dollar losses were limited by the local central bank's intervention as it was reluctant to see the country's global competitiveness hurt by a stronger New Taiwan dollar, they added.

The greenback opened at the day's high of NT$30.580, and moved to a low of NT$30.480 before rebounding. Turnover totaled US$726 million during the trading session.

The U.S. dollar maintained a downtrend after the local foreign exchange market opened and continued to lose momentum until the local central bank stepped in, giving some support to the greenback, dealers said.

Foreign banks operating here and exporters stood on the sell side of the U.S. dollar as foreign institutional investors served as net buyers of NT$10.04 billion (US$329 million) worth of local shares after buying a net NT$8.4 billion the previous day, dealers said.

The selling followed the release of a research report by Bank of China the previous day that China is expected to report a 7.4-percent increase in its gross domestic product in the first quarter, below the official target of 7.5 percent growth for 2014, dealers said.

Not only the New Taiwan dollar but also other regional currencies, such as the South Korean won and the Singapore dollar, posted gains against the U.S. dollar as traders were anticipating that regional currencies would ride higher on the wave of China's stimulus measures, dealers added.

The local central bank intervened late in the session, as it has been doing recently, to buy into the U.S. dollar, helping the greenback recoup most of its losses and return to the NT$30.50 level by the close, dealers said.

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