Kuala Lumpur — Asian currencies completed a weekly gain, led by the won’s advance to a five-year high, as data signaled a continued recovery in the region’s economies and on bets US borrowing costs will remain low.
South Korea reported its March current-account surplus was the biggest in five months, Taiwan’s gross domestic product growth beat forecasts and China’s manufacturing rose in April from the previous month, figures showed this week. The Federal Reserve said April 30 it’s likely to keep the benchmark US interest rate close to zero for a “considerable time” after its stimulus programme ends, and a separate report showed the world’s largest economy barely expanded last quarter.
“The market’s in a bit of a sweet spot where the data’s good but not good enough to really elicit an aggressive move higher in US interest rates,” said Jonathan Cavenagh, a currency strategist at Westpac Banking Corp in Singapore. “Better data has been a secondary factor, although that’s probably played out more for markets like South Korea.”
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