Currencies for ASEAN countries are getting ground against the US dollar. However, the move is more linked to a weakened US currency versus most other international currencies around the world.
The most worrying evolution for now in Southeast Asia is for the Thai Baht that many economists and local businessmen find to high. Various businessmen already called on Thailand Central Bank and the Thai government to intervene into the currency’s market to curb the Baht strong rise. The currency gained last year almost 10% (9.78%) compared to the US dollar and gained again another 2.47% since the beginning of the year.
“The private sector would like to see the baht’s value drop to 33 against the greenback, since this rate is considered to be manageable”, declared Thavorn Chalassthien, vice-chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries to the newspaper the Bangkok Post. However, the currency is likely to move in a range of 31.20 to 31.75 Baht for a dollar according to experts.
But the Thai Baht is not the only one to enjoy a surge versus the US currency. Strong trade surplus and a recovery in oil prices helped also the Malaysian ringgit to bounce back from a 19-year low by 10.59%. Since the beginning of the year, the Ringgit continued its recovery. The currency strengthened by 2.77% since the start of 2018.
The Singapore dollar continued to strengthen against the dollar during 2017, pulling gains by 8.42%. Since the start of 2018, the currency gained another 1.47%.
The Rupiah is also recovering from a low earlier in 2017 to the US Dollar. The Indonesian national currency is the third best performer since the start of the year with a gain of 2.1%. Last year, the Rupiah was still among the worst performing currencies in Southeasia against the dollar. It had lost ground by 0.59% compared to the end of 2016.
Only the Philippines Peso continues to suffer of weakness. While the currency decreased by à.58% in 2017, it was the only ASEAN currency to lose value against the dollar since the start of the year, by another 1.34%.
ASEAN countries might then sound a bit more expensive for all dollar-linked economies. However, the strong Euro will not affect the purchasing power of Europeans to their ASEAN holiday destinations.