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US dollar climbs to day's high of NT$30.230 on Taipei forex

TAIPEI -- The U.S. dollar rose against the New Taiwan dollar Friday, gaining NT$0.009 to close at the day's high of NT$30.230 as the local central bank picked up the greenback to help the currency recoup earlier losses, dealers said.

Turnover remained low as many investors stayed on the sidelines amid rising concerns over China's growth after the world's second largest economy reported a sequential slowing down in the first quarter of this year, they said.

The greenback opened at NT$30.220, and moved to a low of NT$30.035 before rebounding. Turnover totaled US$441 million during the trading session.

The U.S. dollar opened down and continued to slide as traders took cues from the strength of the South Korean won, which got a boost from gains posted by the equity market in Seoul, dealers said.

A rising market in Taipei, in which foreign institutional investors kept buying, also encouraged traders in the foreign exchange market to raise their New Taiwan dollar holdings, they said.

On Friday, the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange closed up 0.25 percent at 8,966.66, after foreign institutional investors served as net buyers of NT$3.39 billion (US$112 million) worth of local shares.

It was the 20th consecutive session that foreign investors bought a net in the local market.

Ahead of the local central bank's intervention, the weakness of the Chinese yuan let some air out of the New Taiwan dollar after the People's Bank of China once again lowered the yuan's exchange rate against the U.S. dollar, dealers said.

As soon as the U.S. dollar fell below the NT$30.10 mark and moved closer to the NT$30.00 level, the local central bank's intervention became more visible as it worked to push the greenback back up to the NT$30.20 threshold before the close.

However, trading volume in the local foreign exchange remained low as concerns over China's economic fundamentals were running deeper in the wake of the country's first quarter economic growth data.

In the January-March period, China's economy grew 7.4 percent, slowing from a 7.7-percent increase seen in the previous quarter.

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