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US dollar closes lower on Taipei forex at NT$30.212

TAIPEI -- The U.S. dollar fell against the Taiwan dollar Friday, shedding NT$0.046 to close at NT$30.212 as traders raised their holdings in the local currency, encouraged by a rebounding market, dealers said.

Selling in the U.S. dollar in the local foreign exchange market also reflected the strength of the South Korean won amid rising optimism toward the regional economy after Seoul reported a higher-than-expected trade surplus for April, dealers said.

The downtrend of the U.S. dollar, however, was limited by the local central bank's buying after it entered the trading floor, as it has done recently, to help the currency recoup most of its earlier losses, dealers said.

The greenback opened at the day's high of NT$30.260, and moved to a low of NT$30.134 before rebounding. Turnover totaled US$600 million during the trading session.

The U.S. dollar opened higher on follow-through buying, but dropped as traders saw the gains of the local equity market, led by the bellwether electronics sector, which boosted demand for the Taiwan dollar, dealers said.

Foreign institutional investors served as net buyers of NT$9.31 billion (US$308 million) worth of local shares as they rushed to pick up select high-tech stocks that had better-than-expected results for the first quarter.

Traders were also upbeat about the regional economy, as the won hit a five-year high at one point after South Korea reported UU$4.46 billion in current accounts for April, beating the US$4.3 billion forecast, dealers said.

China's improving manufacturing activity for April also prompted traders to increase their holdings in regional currencies, including the Taiwan dollar, dealers said. China's purchasing managers' index stood at 50.4 last month, up from 50.3 in March.

After the U.S. dollar fell below the NT$30.20 mark against the Taiwan dollar, the local central bank's intervention became more visible as it tried to vault the greenback back to that level by the close, dealers said.

Despite the central bank's presence, turnover remained moderate as many traders stayed on the sidelines, waiting for the U.S. April non-farm payroll data that was due later in the day, dealers said.

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