Thai baht drops to lowest level in 9 months

THE Thai baht dipped again last week (July 9-13, 2018) reaching the lowest point in 9 months at 33.36 to the dollar with this slide being in tandem with Chinese yuan and other regional currencies, Thai News Agency reported this weekend (July 14-15, 2018).

Kasikorn Research Center said the greenback got additional support from key US economic figures with Producer Price and Consumer Price indices edging up, while weekly jobless claims dropped, with this boosting the likelihood of US Federal Reserve hiking interest rates again, after raising its benchmark short-term interest rate a quarter percentage point in June – the second time it did so this year.

On Friday the Thai baht traded at 33.35 to the dollar compared to 33.17 the previous Friday July 6.

Kasikorn Bank projects that the Thai currency will move in a range of of 33.10-33.60 to the dollar next week, with key issues watched being the trade dispute between US and China and announcement of China’s second quarter Gross Domestic Product.

The markets are also keeping an eye on the Federal Reserve’s semi-annual congressional testimony on monetary policy next week.

Meanwhile the Thai stock market moved up last week (July 9-13, 2018) from the previous week with the SET Index closing at 1,643.52 points, up 1.78%, but the average daily trading volume dropped by 21.49 % to 44,962.24 million baht.

The Market for Alternative Investment (MAI) closed at 429.41 points, up 2.46 % from the previous week.

The Thai bourse edged up on the back of strong support for energy and petrochemical stocks, and net buy by institutional investors. It dipped slightly for a brief period over worries that US is going to introduce more tariffs on Chinese goods, but the SET Index managed to rise the rest of the week through buying spree prior to the announcement of the second quarter results of listed companies.

Next week Kasikorn Securities Plc sees SET index getting support at 1,635 and 1,620 points and facing resistance 1,650 and 1,675 points. The key issues to watch are trade retaliatory actions, particularly by US and China, and the announcement Thai listed companies’ second quarter results.


Top: A currency exchange sign. Photo: Bradley Gordon (CC-BY-2.0)