By The Nation
The baht reversed gains and weakened against the US dollar in the first two trading days of the year, but it continued to be traded in a narrow range. The Bank of Thailand signalled that it was closely monitoring the baht's movement after it broke Bt30 to the US dollar to hit a six-and-a-half-year high of Bt29.75 amid thin trading volumes during the last days of 2019. In addition, the weakening regional currencies weighed down the baht sentiment later in the week. On Friday, (January 3), the baht closed at Bt30.16/USD versus the Bt30.15/USD reported on Friday (December 27, 2019).
During the week of January 6-10, KBank expects the baht to move within a range of Bt30-30.30/USD. A key domestic factor to be monitored closely is the debate on the 2020 Budget Bill in the Thai parliament. External factors will include issues in the next phase of the US-China trade talks after the signing of the first phase agreement, the Middle East tensions, the UK parliament’s consideration of the Brexit deal, and Chinese economic data for December. The US economic data to be released during the week include December non-farm payrolls data, unemployment rate, ADP employment report, and the purchase managers' index and ISM non-manufacturing surveys, as well as the November factory goods orders data.