Trade war worries may lead to baht instability

The baht could go up or down this coming week as instability caused bv trade factors outside Thailand continues. (Post Today file photo)

The baht could go up or down this week as the world economic outlook remains clouded by uncertainty over a US-China trade spat.

The currency slightly appreciated to 33.18 baht against the greenback on Wednesday and Thursday before shedding 29 satang to close at 33.47 on Friday, the Bank of Thailand reported, citing the average rate quoted by commercial banks.

CIMB Thai Bank predicted the baht to move between 33.10 and 33.60 this week, saying its direction could be determined by sentiments over the trade conflict between the United States and China.

The top two biggest economies are locked in a tit-for-tat tariff dispute, with Beijing threatening to retaliate against Washington by imposing levies on US goods.

Ministers attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Singapore have voiced concern about the dispute’s impact on global trade.

The Monetary Policy Committee will hold a meeting on Wednesday, and CIMB Thai and Kasikorn Research Center both expected no change in the policy rate.

The Bank of Thailand has kept its benchmark interest rate at 1.5% since 2015 to help drive economic growth. But the central bank said it planned to tighten monetary policy as the economy continued to expand. 

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