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US dollar closes up in Taipei to end trading at NT$30.180

TAIPEI --- The U.S. dollar rose against the Taiwan dollar Friday, gaining NT$0.002 to close at NT$30.180 as the local central bank's continued intervention helped the greenback recoup earlier losses, dealers said.

The central bank's presence offset the impact from higher interest in the Taiwan dollar, demand of which was bolstered by further gains posted by the local market on the back of foreign institutional buying, they said.

As it has done in almost every recent session, the central bank aimed to keep the Taiwan dollar lower in a bid to win a larger share of the world market and boost the local economy, they said.

The greenback opened at NT$30.180, and moved between NT$30.104 and NT$30.189 before the close. Turnover totaled US$572 million during the trading session.

It opened higher on a mild technical rebound from the losses seen a session earlier but quickly fell into the red as traders here were encouraged by the local market's momentum to pick up the Taiwan dollar, dealers said.

Foreign institutional investors served as net buyers of NT$3.58 billion (US$119 million) worth of local shares to push the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange past the 9,000 point mark at the close.

A rebound staged by the Thai baht, which rose 0.3 percent against the U.S. dollar at one point after a slump as the military moved to takeover the government, also gave an indication to traders here to raise their Taiwan dollar holdings and sell the greenback, dealers said.

Foreign investors stood on the sell side for the U.S. dollar, with selling becoming more visible after 10:00 a.m. to push the U.S. currency to the day's low before the central bank stepped in, they said.

Despite the intervention, trading volume in the local foreign exchange market remained thin as many traders stayed on the sidelines, closely watching the political situation in Thailand, dealers said.

In addition, some traders retreated from the floor, waiting for business confidence data released by Germany, Europe's largest economy, for a possible hint on the European Central Bank's monetary policy, they said.

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