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Dollar keeps strength amid market panic

23 september 2011, 13:12
0
The dollar extended its gains against most Asian units Friday as traders sought its safe haven from a second straight day of market sparked by fears of another recession, AFP reports.

With the greenback surging on growing risk aversion some central banks intervened in forex markets to support their currencies amid fears of inflation at home.

The euro recovered from 10-year lows against the yen but its outlook remained bleak after the US Fed warned of significant risks to the US economy and as the eurozone struggles to keep Greece's debt crisis from spreading.

The dollar rose to Sg$1.3006 from Sg$1.2878 and to Tw$30.59 from Tw$30.34.

It was also at 1,195.00 South Korean won from 1,179.57, despite traders saying the South Korean central bank had stepped in to support the unit over the week.

However, it did fall to 8,973.75 Indonesian rupiah from 9,133.75, with Dow Jones Newswires saying the central bank in Jakarta is believed to have intervened.

The commodities-linked Australian dollar was also trading sharply lower on Friday, falling to 97.89 US cents, well down on its close of US$1.00 the day before.

Since breaching parity in October last year the currency has rallied consistently near or above the US$1.00 mark, hitting a record of US$1.1081 in July.

The euro edged up tentatively, sitting at $1.3511 in afternoon trade, from 1.3470 late Thursday in New York. It was changing hands at 103.11 yen, after sinking to a 10-year low of 102.60 yen.

The single currency is under pressure as strikes over new budget cuts swept across Greece on Thursday, with doubts growing that Athens can implement new EU-IMF measures needed to secure funds and avert a default.

In afternoon Asian trade, the dollar was up at 76.32 yen from 76.20 yen in late New York trade Thursday.

Japanese financial markets were closed for a public holiday.

"The dollar has already strengthened quite a fair bit, and the trend will continue for a while," said Simon Teo, a senior currency dealer at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

"Europe still has a lot of problems, pushing the euro currency lower. With the US dollar strengthening, it has a double effect on the euro."

Singapore's DBS Bank said the world is looking for leadership from the ongoing International Monetary Fund-World Bank annual meetings in Washington which gathers the world's finance chiefs and central bank governors.

"Needless to say, market sentiment is at its most fragile since (the) Lehman crisis," DBS said, referring to the collapse in late 2008 of US investment bank Lehman Brothers, sparking a global financial crisis that lasted well into 2009.

"More than ever, markets now need to see global leaders holding each other’s hands, and not pointing fingers at each other, to help restore stability to global financial markets and return the world to its recovery path."

The heads of the World Bank and IMF on Thursday warned that Europe and the US needed to get control of their deteriorating economic crises or risk "suffocating" the global economy.

Against other Asian currencies, the dollar climbed to 43.78 Philippine pesos from 43.67 and to 30.84 Thai baht from 30.68.

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