Limited room for baht to weaken in the short term
The baht opened at 30.07 to the US dollar on Monday, strengthening from Friday's closing rate of 30.10.
The Thai currency is likely to move between 30 and 30.15 on Monday and 29.85 and 30.20 within this week, said Krungthai market strategist Poon Panichpibool.
Poon forecast that the financial market would remain in a risk-off state this week, from factors worth monitoring, such as the US political situation and the Covid-19 crisis across the world.
In the US, the Mfg. & Services purchasing managers index for this month fell from December to 53 points, pointing to reduced economic activities in that time.
Meanwhile, the EU has been pressured by the virus crisis. This situation would compel the European Central Bank (ECB) to continue with relaxed financial policies, such as a freezing of the deposit facility rate at minus 0.50 per cent.
Moreover, the market is monitoring a meeting of EU finance ministers to discuss the EU recovery fund, which was a key factor to stimulate the EU economy amid the Covid-19 crisis.
In Thailand, December exports to be announced this month will tend to contract by 2 per cent from exports in December 2019, due to a problem with containers across the world, though demand for products had recovered.
In the short term, the dollar will still be supported by the market, amid the market’s concerns about the present economy. At the same time, the baht tends to fluctuate from funds flowing out from Thai stock and bond markets.
However, according to the market strategist, the baht will weaken only slightly, since foreign exporters want to sell the currency when it weakens near 30.20 per US dollar.