Thailand Central Bank Rate Cut Sinks the Baht

Thailand’s baht has long out-muscled regional peers, but amid a stumbling economy, the central bank has pulled the plug on supporting the currency.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) last week sent a triple whammy to the markets: In a surprise move, it cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis-points to 1.5 percent. In its statement, the BOT mentioned its concerns about the continued strength of the baht. That was followed up with the easing of some of the country’s capital controls, which will allow more funds to flow out of the country.

“All three things marked a strong message,” said Santitarn Sathirathai, an analyst at Credit Suisse, noting it’s rare for the BOT to mention the currency level. “If there is appreciation in the baht again, which could happen due to the current account surplus, then the Bank of Thailand could intervene to cap appreciation and to cap outperformance over regional currencies.”

“It’s a paradigm shift,” he added.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza