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Greenback closes at NT$30.306

TAIPEI--The U.S. dollar fell against the Taiwan dollar Thursday, shedding NT$0.02 to close at NT$30.306 as traders were encouraged by the strength of the South Korean won to raise their holdings in Taiwan's currency, dealers said.

Further buying by foreign institutional investors in the local market added downward pressure on the U.S. dollar throughout the session, they said.

The losses suffered by the U.S. unit, however, were limited by the local central bank's intervention, which propped up the currency and made the Taiwan dollar cheaper in a bid to boost Taiwanese exporters' competitiveness, they added.

The greenback opened at NT$30.326 and moved between NT$30.225 and NT$30.334 before the close. Turnover totaled US$572 million during the trading session.

The U.S. dollar opened flat but immediately fell to the red against the Taiwan dollar in the wake of a strong won, which rose 0.2 percent against the greenback at one point, the largest gain in two weeks for the South Korean unit, dealers said.

A rising won reflected optimism toward the economy of South Korea after the country reported its gross domestic product for the first quarter rose 0.9 percent from the previous quarter, beating a market estimate of a 0.8 percent rise. The first quarter GDP also rose 3.9 percent from a year earlier.

Dealers said foreign institutional investors served as net buyers of local shares worth NT$4.88 billion (US$161 million), which further boosted demand for the Taiwan dollar and imposed more impact on the greenback.

It was the 24th consecutive session that foreign institutional investors bought a net in the local market, although the market moved in a consolidation mode ahead of stiff technical resistance at around 9,000 points.

Disappointing new home sales and manufacturing activity data in the U.S. added downward pressure on the U.S. dollar amid worries over the world's largest economy, dealers said.

After the greenback fell below the NT$30.30 level, the local central bank made its presence seen to help the currency recoup most of its earlier losses and return to that level at the close, they said.

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