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Bank of Thailand Says Thai Baht is Likely to Remain Volatile

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BANGKOK – Bank of Thailand Assistant Governor Vachira Arromdee has told a press briefing on Monday that the Thai Baht is likely to remain volatile and the central bank has taken action on excessive moves in the currency to help the private sector adjust.

The baht’s strength is mainly due to a weak dollar and Thailand’s current account surplus, but its price moves are in line with the currencies of emerging markets, Assistant Governor Vachira Arromdee said in a statement.

“In certain periods when the baht’s rise is fast and not in line with economic fundamentals, the central bank has closely taken care of it,” she said.

The baht traded at 31.80 per dollar at 0830 GMT (3.30pm in Thailand), its lowest in almost six weeks. But it has still strengthened 2.4% this year, making it the second-best performing currency in Asia after the Chinese yuan. The baht hit a five-year high against the dollar on Feb 20.

Ms Vachira said after a meeting with a shipping group that a slowdown in Thailand’s exports has been caused by external factors amid concerns about a trade war, while there has only been a small impact on shipments from currency fluctuations.

The private sector should hedge against currency risks, she added.

By Bangkok Post, Reuters