Emerging markets currencies build on post-Fed fillip

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Emerging markets currencies gained broadly against a softer greenback in early Asia trading on Thursday following the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates.

The dollar index measuring the latter against a basket of peers was down another 0.2 per cent on top of Wednesdays’ fall of 0.9 per cent to put it at 100.52, the lowest level in a month.

South Korea’s won led gains with a rise of 1.1 per cent against the dollar to Won1,130.95 on Thursday, bringing it 1.6 per cent stronger over two days. The Taiwanese dollar was close behind, firming 0.7 per cent to TW$30.583 against the greenback on top of a 0.5 per cent strengthening the previous day.

The Mexican peso was flat following a 2.3 per cent rise to 19.2222 pesos against the dollar on Wednesday, holding at its strongest since President Trump’s election.

Major regional currencies were less volatile. After gaining 2 per cent on Wednesday the Australian dollar shed 0.3 per cent against its US counterpart to $0.7689. Japan’s yen was virtually flat at ¥113.34 in Asia morning trade, steady after breaking back below the ¥114 level the day prior to close 1.2 per cent stronger.

Other currencies were walking back some of their previous gains, with the South African rand weakening half a per cent to 12.8475 per dollar following a 2.8 per cent gain on Wednesday. The pound was 0.1 per cent softer at $1.2275 after ending the previous session 1.1 per cent higher and back above the $1.22 mark for the first time in just over a week.

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