Taipei, The Taiwan dollar ended at 28.668 against the greenback on the Taipei foreign exchange market on Thursday, gaining NT$0.098 from the previous close to finish at a 9.5-year high after the central bank took a hands-off approach.
The Taiwan dollar opened at 28.77 and remained stable around 28.5 against the U.S. dollar before noon — a level the central bank had tried hard to maintain since November amid the continued influx of hot money boosted by Taiwan’s robust exports and rising stock market.
However, the central bank suddenly eased its stance and allowed the local currency to appreciate, pushing exporters to sell more Taiwan dollars in exchange for the greenback over fears they could suffer greater losses if the Taiwan dollar continues to appreciate.
During Thursday’s trading, the local currency peaked at 28.401 against the U.S. dollar at one point — its highest level in 23 years and four months.
Although the central bank intervened by the end of trading and helped the U.S. dollar recover some ground, the Taiwan dollar still closed at a 9.5-year high of 28.668.
Foreign exchange dealers forecast that exporters will continue to sell U.S. dollars on Friday, as it is widely anticipated the New Taiwan dollar is set to stay strong.