Hong Kong: Most Asian currencies finished the week up against the US dollar amid continuing fears over the American economy.
The yen edged up over the past week to the mid-106 level against the dollar amid continuing fears of a recession in the world’s largest economy.
The Japanese currency closed at 106.33-35 on Friday, compared with 107.63-65 a week earlier. It had gradually slipped back to the mid-107 level after earlier this month hitting 105.62 to the dollar, the yen’s highest level since May 2005, as the US pressed a stimulus plan to head off recession. But analysts in Tokyo said investors will not have much appetite for the dollar this week because of market uncertainity and fear of US recession.
Asian market analysts said a reduction of a quarter point was seen as near certain at the Fed’s next meeting on 18 March. The yuan closed at 7.18 to the dollar on Friday on the exchange-traded market. The Australian dollar was at 89.57 cents on Friday—up from last week’s close of 88.40 cents.
The Reserve Bank of Australia meeting on Tuesday could raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point to 7%—a move which would take official interest rates to their highest level since November 1996.
The Indian rupee closed on Friday at Rs39.35 against the dollar—down by 0.02 paisa on Thursday. The Hong Kong dollar finished the week at 7.79 to the dollar, from 7.80 the Friday before. The Indonesian rupiah ended the week at 9,200/9,210 rupiah to the dollar, compared with 9,330/9,335 to the dollar a week earlier. The Filipino peso rose to 40.50 to the dollar on Friday, from 40.80 a week earlier. The Singapore dollar was at 1.41 against the greenback on Friday, a rise from 1.42 the previous week.