The Thai baht opened at 34.78 against the US dollar today, strengthening from yesterday’s close of 35 to a six-month high.
The baht’s sudden rise is down to the Bank of Thailand’s (BOT) hiking the policy rate by a quarter point earlier this week.
The BOT remains committed to a gradual monetary tightening policy, raising the policy rate from 1% to 1.25% on Wednesday.
Economic growth this year is expected to be at 3.2%, lower than the prior projection of 3.3%, according to the central bank. The BOT also cut its 2023 growth forecast to 3.7% from 3.8%.
Thailand’s currency is facing pressure from the depreciating US dollar, gold sales, and foreign investors possibly buying more Thai bonds amid continuous drops in the US 10-Year bond yields.
Investors might want to sell the baht now as it edges near the support level of 34.75. Once it hits the support level, it could depreciate again.
Although, US labour data coming out this weak could impact the baht’s value. Low employment rates could help the baht but high levels of employment could weaken the baht, so it’s up to investors whether to hold out and see.
Krungthai market specialist Poon Panichpibool advised investors to use hedging tools in the highly-volatile currency market.
Economists have high hopes for the baht in the long run. Capital Market Research Specialist at Kasikorn Bank Kittika Boonsrang predicts…
“I expect the Thai baht to get a high that could be around 33.50 to 34.00 per US dollar by the end of next year.”
The forecast will only be achievable if Thailand pumps up exports and ramps up tourist arrivals, added Kittika.
Other regional currencies have also strengthened against the greenback amid hopes that China will ease up their Covid-19 restrictions.
Currencies have been highly sensitive to the Federal Reserve’s aggressive monetary tightening this year which was designed to fix high inflation rates in the US.
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