Asian currencies rose for a fifth week, led by Taiwan's dollar, as foreign investors poured money into the region amid optimism the global economy is recovering.
The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index saw its longest weekly run of gains since October 2010 after reports last week showed manufacturing in the US, China and Germany picked up in January. The currencies were little changed on Friday as regional stocks snapped a three-day advance after Greece and its creditors struggled to reach an agreement on their debt swap.
"We have seen pretty good data in Asia, Europe and the US and that led to risk-on sentiment and supported the Asian currencies," said Yuji Kameoka, chief currency strategist at Daiwa Securities Co. in Tokyo. "The move is quite well correlated with fund inflows to the region. Investors are cautiously watching developments regarding Europe's debt crisis."
The Asia Dollar Index, which tracks the region's 10 most-traded currencies excluding the yen, climbed 0.3 per cent last week to 117.78 in Singapore. It reached a three-month high on Friday. The Taiwan dollar jumped 1.5 per cent to NT$29.545 as of the onshore close, according to Taipei Forex Inc. Thailand's baht appreciated 1 per cent to 30.85 and India's rupee surged 1.3 per cent to 48.6950.
Foreign funds bought $2.5 billion more South Korean, Taiwanese and Thai equities than they sold in the first four days of last week and a net $536 million of India's shares in the first three days, according to exchange data.
Greece and its creditors are locked in talks over a debt-swap deal for the nation. In discussions last week in Athens, bondholders lowered their demands for an average coupon on the new debt they would get after European officials demanded they take steeper losses.
A Chinese purchasing managers' manufacturing index (PMI) rose to 50.5 in January from 50.3 the previous month and more than the 49.6 median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg, data showed on February 1. Reports the same day showed Germany's index advanced to 51 from 48.4 and the US Institute for Supply Management's gauge climbed to 54.1, the most since June, from a revised 53.1.
Taiwan's dollar completed the biggest five-day rally in a year as foreign funds pumped money into the island's assets and official data on January. 30 showed unemployment declined in December. Yields on the government's 1 per cent bonds due January 2017 dropped three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, last week to 0.94 per cent, prices from Gretai Securities Market show.
"Foreign inflows boosted the Taiwan dollar," said Ivy Leung, a Taipei-based fixed-income trader at Polaris Securities Co. "The appreciation in the Taiwan dollar has contributed to a bond rally."
The baht had a third consecutive weekly gain and reached a seven-week high on January 31, a day after the finance ministry said gross domestic product may rise 5 per cent in 2012, compared with projected growth of 1.1 per cent last year.
The ringgit climbed for a fifth week, the longest winning streak since 2010, before data that economists predict will show factory-output growth quickened for the first time in four months. The ringgit added 1 per cent to 3.0088 per dollar.
Industrial production increased 1.8 per cent in December from a year earlier after rising by the same magnitude in November, according to the median estimate of economists in a survey before government data due on February 9.
South Korea's won rose 0.5 per cent last week to 1,118.07 per dollar. The Philippine peso added 0.6 per cent to 42.61 and China's yuan strengthened 0.6 per cent to 6.3028.