Baht gains, expected to move in line with Asian currencies

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The baht on Friday (April 17) opened at Bt32.60 per US dollar, strengthening from Thursday’s close of Bt32.68.

The baht would swing between Bt32.55 to Bt32.75 per US dollar, and could move in line with other Asian currencies, said SCB Securities senior market strategist Jitipol Puksamatanan.

In the short term, he predicted that capital would not flow to Asian countries. However, investors have partly returned to invest in Japan and South Korea. “If the financial markets return to normalcy, investments in Thai bonds can be expected n the middle of this year onwards,” he added.

In addition, analysts estimated the Chinese economy, in the first quarter of this year, to contract by 6 per cent compared to 2019’s first quarter, or by 12 per cent compared to 2019’s first quarter.

In late March, China’s industrial production, retail sales, and fixed asset investment, fell by 6.2 per cent, 10 per cent, and 15 per cent, respectively. The contraction was lesser compared to previous months, showing that China’s economic risk was lowering.

On Friday morning, the Korean won strengthened by 0.5 per cent after the Democratic Party of Korea won an election with 66.2 per cent of total votes, the highest margin in the past 28 years.

On Thursday night, the S&P 500 closed positive by 0.6 per cent, Nasdaq improved from minus 30 per cent to minus 13 per cent. Moreover, President Donald Trump announced that the social distancing policy will be cancelled in the next four weeks, although the number of Covid-19 patients are increasing.