Baht stable this week, down slightly on external factors, BOT says
May 30, 2014 00:00
By The Nation
The baht has remained stable despite weakening a little compared with last week on external factors, the Bank of Thailand says.
BOT spokeswoman Roong Mallikamas said that between Monday and yesterday morning the currency had moved within the range of 32.56-32.73 per US dollar. Its average value is lower than last week as the US economy and its currency have strengthened.
“Many of the US economic indicators are better than expected, such as the amount of durable goods ordered and the relaxed monetary policy of the European Central Bank, which contributed to the strengthening of the US dollar. Therefore, the baht and other currencies in this region have slightly weakened when compared with the US dollar,” she said.
The baht closed yesterday at 32.97 per dollar. Roong said internal factors had no effect on the currency, bond or stock markets even though foreign investors had continued to be net sellers of bonds and stocks, the amounts were not as critical as in the first day after the coup. At that time, some panicked investors sold most of their Thai assets to reduce risks.
“Most foreign investors are still waiting to see the developments of political reform and the economic stimulation process,” she said.
As for domestic investors, Roong said their confidence level was still sound and they were net buyers in the stock market, which would help bring the SET Index back to the same level as before the coup.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand closed yesterday at 1,408.51, up 5.72 points from Wednesday.
Five-year credit default swaps protecting Thai government debt against non-payment fell from 133 basis points on May 22 to 122 on Wednesday, the same level as in mid-May. Roong said the drop showed that political factors had only a short-term effect on foreign investors and now they were more relaxed about the situation.