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Asian currencies gain on US dollar

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by Elaine Frei

With currency trade light on Tuesday as the United States took the day off for the Independence Day holiday, several Asian currencies took the opportunity to make gains against the greenback. The South Korean won added 0.2 percent versus the dollar to Won 943, while the Thai baht gained 0.4 percent to Bt37.855 and the Indonesian rupiah was up 0.9 percent to Rp9,060 to the dollar.

In Mexico, the peso also gained on the US currency, hitting a six-week high of 11.049 pesos to the dollar. The gain came on speculation that Sunday’s presidential election in Mexico would be won by the conservative candidate, Felipe Calderon, who is perceived to be pro-business.

The Japanese yen was at ¥114.56 in relation to the US dollar, at ¥146.59 against the euro, and at ¥211.51 versus sterling.

The Swiss franc was weaker against both the euro and sterling. It was at a two-month low of SFr5681 in relation to the euro, while it dropped 0.3 percent to SFr2.2616 against sterling.

The Hungarian forint, however, gained 0.5 percent to Ft278.99 versus the euro. It has lost 7.6 percent to the shared currency since the middle of May. The Swedish krona also gained in relation to the euro, adding 0.2 percent to SKr9.1691. An analyst at Citigroup said that he thinks the Riksbank will raise interest rates in Sweden by 125 basis points in the next year, for the fastest rise in the G10 nations.

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News posted: July 4, 2006

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