Thailand’s baht surged to its highest level in seven months after the Asian nation’s exports recovered strongly while foreign investors purchased more local assets.
The baht rose by up to 0.4 percent to trade at 31.993 per dollar, its highest level since December 17, before edging slightly lower to 31.995 by 3:35 p.m. local time. Thailand’s exports in June increased 7.2 percent from a year ago, said Junta leader Prayuth Chan-Ocha last Friday. This was the first gain in four months, and exceeded the analysts’ forecast of 3.1 percent advance in a survey done by Bloomberg.
“The rebound in exports may support the baht’s additional strength in the short term,” Tim Leelahaphan, a Bangkok-based economist at Maybank Kim Eng Securities (Thailand) Plc told Bloomberg. “A better economic outlook has also attracted foreign fund inflows into domestic bonds and stocks.”
The baht has advanced 1.4 percent this month, making it the second-best performer out of the 24 emerging economy currencies monitored by Bloomberg. Global funds invested a net $165 million in Thai stocks and debt on July 18, bringing this month’s foreign inflows close to $3 billion. The foreign investors have been attracted by the junta’s efforts to revive the ailing economy by boosting state expenditure.
The SET Index of equities rallied 0.3 percent to steady at 1,537.99, pushing it closer to its strongest close since June last year. The yield on the 3.875 percent Thai bonds that mature on June 2019 fell 0.02 percentage point, or two basis points, to 3.04 percent, which is the lowest since May 23. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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