Asian currencies, led by South Korea’s won and the Philippine peso, ended lower this week following the Japanese earthquake and a dollar rise on signs of faltering global recovery.
All the 10 major currencies in Asia fell after a powerful earthquake measuring 8.9 magnitude on Richter scale hit off Japan on Friday. Yen tumbled to a two-week low against the dollar on the news.
“The earthquake raised concern some economic activities will be halted in Japan,” Bloomberg reported quoting Tsutomu Soma, a bond and currency trader at Okasan Securities Co. in Tokyo. “The earthquake led to the selling of the yen and other Asian currencies.”
While the won fell 0.9 percent to 1,124.18 against the dollar compared with previous week, the peso dropped 0.9 percent to 43.65. Both Taiwan’s dollar and India’s rupee fell 0.5 percent against the dollar.
China’s yuan fell 0.13 percent this week to 6.5765 against the dollar. Official data showed on Thursday that China recorded a surprise trade deficit of $7.3 billion in February, causing Asian markets to drop on fears that monetary tightening in the country is taking a toll on economic growth.
Malaysia’s ringgit slipped 0.4 percent to 3.0397 against the greenback. The central bank of Malaysia kept the key interest rates unchanged at 2.75 percent on Friday.
Besides, the Singapore dollar dropped 0.4 percent S$1.2722 against the dollar while Indonesia’s rupiah ended slightly lower at 8,790. However, Thailand’s baht rose 0.2 percent to 30.42.