HKMA intervenes to defend Hong Kong's dollar peg, sells HK$10.54 bln on Friday

HONG KONG, July 14 (Reuters) - The Hong Kong Monetary

Authority (HKMA) stepped into the currency market again during

Friday New York trading hours, taking the total of Hong Kong

dollars sold that day to HK$10.540 billion ($1.36 billion) as

the local currency hit the strong end of its trading range.

Earlier on Friday, during Hong Kong trading hours, the

authority sold HK$2.325 billion in Hong Kong dollars.

The authority intervened on Wednesday and Thursday too.

According to the HKMA, the latest intervention will lift

the aggregate balance - the sum of balances on clearing accounts

maintained by banks with the HKMA - to HK$200.983 billion

on July 15.

The Hong Kong dollar is pegged at 7.8 to the U.S. dollar,

but can trade between 7.75 and 7.85. Under the currency peg, the

HKMA is obliged to intervene when the Hong Kong dollar hits 7.75

or 7.85 to keep the band intact.

($1 = 7.7498 Hong Kong Dollars)

(Reporting by Clare Jim; Editing by Richard Borsuk)