Jul 21, 2005

Currency Story Continued

From Reuters:

The Singapore dollar, widely used with the yen to bet on a yuan move, shot higher to a two-month high of 1.6503 per U.S. dollar, up 2 percent on the day compared with 1.6843 on Wednesday, before dealers reported the intervention.
Singapore said it will maintain its policy of gradual and modest strengthening of the Singapre dollar and said fundamentals of the city-state's economy had not changed.
Hong Kong said it would not consider changing its currency peg to the dollar even if the yuan keep appreciating and said the Hong Kong dollar will remain very stable.
The Indian rupee rose to a six-year peak against the dollar around 43.20, up more than half a percent.
"The move is clearly positive for Asian currencies first, and to some extent the euro. It is pretty clear that the basket will involve a reasonable chunk of Asian currencies," said Emanuele Ravano, European strategist at PIMCO in London.
The Korean won's non-deliverable forward prices, used by offshore investors to trade the won, showed investors are factoring in a 2.2 percent rise in the won/dollar rate in one-month's time.

Following the yen's rise of more than two percent, Japan's top financial diplomat Hiroshi Watanabe said he is watching the market carefully and would take action if needed.
Japan has been urging China to reform the rigid FX regime but it had repeatedly said the yuan revaluation doesn't mean a higher yen and it has hinted it would intervene if necessar

Update 2:51 PM: This quote from Nouriel Roubini sums up what I am watching for:

And this could really be the beginning of the end of the Bretton Woods 2 regime of fixed pegs to the U.S. dollar in Asia. Malaysia already decided today to drop its peg relative to the U.S. dollar. This China move may also force Hong Kong to phase out its long term currency board and U.S. dollar peg. And other Asian currencies will soon sharply appreciate, following the yen's lead today. Even currencies at the periphery of this Bretton Woods regime (such as those in Latin America) may sharply appreciate. The systemic consequences of this currency realignment throughout Asia and the world could be radical and have significant impacts on U.S. long-term interest rates, on U.S. financial markets and on the U.S housing bubble.

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