Southeast Asian Currencies Strengthening to the Dollar

ASEAN countries might become less attractive for travellers coming from countries using the US Dollar as their currency or as a peg to their own national currency. This includes the US zone but also countries such as Cambodia, Hong Kong/Macau, Vietnam, most of the Middle East countries (Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), Panama or Djibouti.

The Baht appreciated the most since the beginning of the year, on a year-to-date basis. While the Baht was negotiated at THB35.87 for one US Dollar, locals had only to pay THB33.29 for one US dollar on July 31, 2017. This represents a 7.2% appreciation of the currency, only matched in Asia by the Korean Won, up by over 8% to the greenback.

The Singapore Dollar is the second strongest currency to the US Dollar, up by 6.2%. Most of the other Southeast Asian currencies are also up: Malaysian Ringgit and Indonesian Rupiah are slightly up. However the Myanmar Kyat and the Vietnamese Dong remains stable versus the US Dollar while the Philippines Peso is the only currency in the region which lost value to the dollar.

Thai authorities start to feel concerned about the ongoing strengthening of the dollar as it could affect tourism spending while exports could be in the longer term be affected. The Malaysian Ringgit is only trading lower to the US dollar but continued to recently lose values versus the Singapore Dollar or the Thai Baht.

Evolution of the US Dollar between January 1, 2017 and July 31, 2017:

US DOLLAR IN Jan-01 Jul-31
Thai Baht 35.87 33.29 -7.20%
Singapore Dollar 1.45 1.36 -6.20%
Malaysian Ringgit 4.485 4.28 -4.60%
Indonesian Rupiah 13,526 13,325 -1.50%
Myanmar Kyat 1,364.71 1,359.83 -0.40%
Vietnamese Dong 22,772.10 22,726.50 -0.20%
Philippines Peso 49.60 50.52 1.85%

(Source: EX Exchange Rate)

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