Baht strengthens but expected to be stable for now

The baht on Wednesday (March 25) opened at Bt32.84 to the US dollar, strengthening from Friday’s close of Bt32.90, and would move between Bt32.80 to Bt33.10 per US dollar, SCB Securities senior market strategist Jitipol Puksamatanan said

On Tuesday night, the market was supported by investors’ hopes of the US Congress passing a draft law for stimulating the economy.

The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 rose by 11 per cent and 9.4 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, the US 10-Year Treasury increased by six basis points, or to 0.84 per cent. European bond yields grew by 2-12 basis points.

“Also, ‘Richmond Fed Manufacturer’ and ‘Markit US Composite PMI’ indexes have not decreased as sharply as were expected,” the strategist added.

The dollar started to weaken last night, compared to other main currencies. Moreover, the currencies moved by commodities prices, such as the Australian dollar, and those moved by the capital market, such as the Korean won, were ones with the most supporting power. “This would make an investment in Asia on Wednesday continually positive” he added.

In Thailand, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) would lower the interest policy by 25 basis points at this Wednesday’s meeting, since the domestic economy would contract more than previously expected.

Moreover, the central bank would issue other measures to help Thailand’s economy, such as forward guidance and targeted soft loans.

The baht on Wednesday would be stable in a narrow range, and weaken slightly in the afternoon due to investors speculating after the interest policy rate is lowered.

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30384787

PM DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha today (March 24) declared a state of emergency to contain the escalating Covid-19 pandemic.

The decree takes effect on March 26. The premier said the decree would be enforced for one month.

The Cabinet today approved the emergency decree on public administration in an emergency situation.

The existing Covid-19 centre will be upgraded to the centre of state emergency to tackle all Covid-19 issues. Committees will be set up under the centre to monitor results of its announcements.

On March 26, the centre will announce the government’s plan to contain the outbreak and enforce regulations. Stricter measures will be imposed if the situation does not improve, the premier added.

Whether the government would order the closures of more public venues would depend on the situation at the time.

The government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat said that the curfew issue was not discussed at the cabinet meeting today.

Three Covid-19 patients died on Monday while 106 new cases were confirmed, taking Thailand’s total cases past 800, Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Public Health Ministry, said on Tuesday (March 24).