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The South Korean won climbed to a more than 2-year high in its last trading day of the year, as the dollar fell on lower US bond yields, while most other Asian currencies rallied on Thursday.
The greenback touched its lowest in more than three weeks, with the dollar index, that pits the US currency against six major rivals, down 0.2 per cent as of 0450 GMT.
The US 10-year Treasury yield came off nine-month highs as investors rebalanced portfolios before year-end.
Christopher Wong, an FX strategist with Maybank, said besides the fall in the dollar, the “bigger thematic remains one of seeking for carry-trades as synchronous global economic recovery looks poised to be sustained into first half of 2018.”
The Thai baht THB-=TH led the gainers with a 0.5 per cent increase after the country’s industrial output in November beat expectations.
The Chinese yuan gained 0.2 per cent, snapping two straight losing days, helped by its central bank lifting the official yuan midpoint to a fresh 3-1/2-month high.
The Taiwan dollar rose 0.4 per cent to a more than three-year high, while the Indian rupee fell to its lowest in over one week.
SOUTH KOREAN WON
The South Korean won rose 0.2 per cent, marking its highest since April 2015. It was on track to post the best yearly gain since 2004 and is poised to end 2017 as the best performing regional currency.
Higher stock inflows pushed the won up, said Maybank’s Wong. The KOSPI index rose 0.9 per cent.
South Korean markets are closed on Friday.
The Philippine peso hit over six-month highs in what could be its sixth straight gaining session.
It is a “combination of positive fundamental factors for the peso, namely, optimism regarding the passage of the tax plan, better-than-expected data of late, and strong seasonal inflows,” said Jason Manalac, a trader at Philippine Bank of Communications.
Data on Tuesday showed that the country posted a narrower buget deficit for November. This came after the Philippine Congress passed a long-awaited tax reform plan, a ratings upgrade by Fitch, and forecasts of faster economic growth by the World Bank.