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Thai Baht remains stable despite political turmoil

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The baht has moved in a narrow range for the time being, although the domestic political turmoil continues unabated, according to the Bank of Thailand (BoT).

Wongwatoo Potirat, senior director of Financial Markets and Reserve Management Department, said the Thai currency has not fluctuated heavily at the moment since there remains a balance of selling and buying pressures from investors and exporters.

“Foreign investors have sold off some shares and bought dollars to a certain amount while local exporters continue waiting to sell the greenback. It causes an equilibrium and makes the baht move in a narrow range,” she said.

Ms Wongwatoo said the baht continued moving in tandem with other currencies in the region. Although the currency had occasionally deviated from the direction, it returned to move in the same range eventually.

via Baht remains stable despite political turmoil, says BoT.

The key risk to the global recovery lies in the need to get the timing of withdrawing fiscal and monetary stimulus just right. Withdrawal of fiscal stimulus too early may lead to another negative demand shock and a negative expectations spiral, whereas withdrawing the stimulus too late may lead to high inflation, further weakening of the US dollar, and possible asset price bubbles. In Thailand, for example, more than ten years since the 1997/1998 financial crisis banks still have bad loans in their books and the government still holds a large amount of debt related to the recapitalization of financial institutions.

babGiven the expected length of recovery, it is important not to withdraw stimulus programs too soon, before the recovery is on a firm footing. On the other hand, macroeconomic imbalances are accumulating and eventually fiscal and monetary authorities, especially in the US, must consolidate their fiscal position and withdraw liquidity. The export collapse in 2009 has been the most severe in Thailand’s recent history. The magnitude of the decline has been unprecedented. Since 1957, there have been nine episodes where exports contracted for at least six consecutive months. Losses to date are more than double those in the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis and the 2001 “dot.com” bubble turmoil. Thailand’s export performance tracked developments in world merchandise trade, which dropped around four and eight percent in the 1997 and 2001 meltdowns, respectively, but 22 % so far during the current global financial crisis.

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