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US dollar declines slightly to NT$30.151

TAIPEI -- The U.S. dollar fell against the New Taiwan dollar Wednesday, shedding NT$0.02 to close at NT$30.151 as local exporters dumped the greenback in exchange for the local currency to meet fund demands as the month approaches an end, dealers said.

The U.S. dollar was also under pressure in the local market as several regional currencies such as the Japanese yen and the South Korean won posted gains against the U.S. unit amid growing optimism toward the global economy, the dealers said.

A rising local bourse added to selling in the U.S. dollar as foreign institutional investors remained on the buy side, boosting demand for the New Taiwan dollar throughout the session, they said.

The local central bank, as it has done almost every session recently, stepped onto the trading floor to prop up the U.S. dollar, helping the currency recoup most of its earlier losses at the close, the dealers said.

The greenback opened at NT$30.171 and moved between NT$30.080 and NT$30.179 before the close. Turnover totaled US$559 million during the trading session.

The U.S. dollar opened flat and soon fell into negative territory as traders took cues from rising end-of-month demand for the New Taiwan dollar from local exporters, they said.

Such seasonal fund demand is expected to continue for the rest of the week to push up the New Taiwan dollar before the month comes to an end, they said.

Interest in the regional currencies grew amid improved sentiment toward the global economy after Washington reported better-than-expected durable goods order data for April and an improvement in consumer confidence in May, the dealers said.

Traders in the region rushed to pick up other regional currencies, such as the yen and the won, a move that served as a strong indication for traders here to raise their New Taiwan dollar holdings, they said.

In the local bourse, foreign institutional investors bought a net NT$6.48 billion (US$215 million)-worth of local shares to vault the weighted index on the Taiwan Stock Exchange past the 9,100 point mark, placing further pressure on the U.S. dollar, the dealers said.

After the U.S. dollar fell below NT$30.10, local central bank intervention aimed at keeping the New Taiwan dollar cheaper and boosting the country's exports, appeared more visible, pushing back the greenback to close above that level, they said.

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