Asian currencies headed for a third weekly loss on concern the Federal Reserve will scale back stimulus that has spurred fund flows to emerging markets.
The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index touched a six-week low yesterday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said May 22 its $85 billion a month of bond-buying, known as quantitative easing, may be tapered if the U.S. economy shows a sustained improvement. The yuan reached a 19-year high today as the central bank set a record fixing even after data indicated manufacturing in Asia’s largest economy will contract in May.
The Asia Dollar Index, which tracks the 10 most-active currencies excluding the yen, fell 0.22 percent this week to 117.2 as of 11:54 a.m. in Hong Kong. India’s rupee declined 1.4 percent to 55.6725 per dollar, South Korea’s won dropped 1.1 percent to 1,129.85 and the Philippine peso fell 1.1 percent to 41.635. The yuan rose 0.2 percent to 6.1296. Financial markets in Thailand and Malaysia are closed today for holidays.
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