Baht reaches 16-year high

The baht retreated from a 16-year high on Friday after Thailand’s central bank governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said the currency has started to move beyond its fundamentals.

Global funds bought US$1.7 billion more local sovereign notes than they sold this month, Thai Bond Market Association data showed.

"Foreign direct divestment is particularly strong in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, as the return on assets is high," said Boon Peng Ooi, who oversees $20 billion as the chief investment officer of fixed income at Eastspring Investments Singapore Ltd. "We continue to see moderate gains in Asian currencies."

The baht hit the new high level at 28.56 baht against the US dollar on Friday's afternoon trading, despite moving in feeble trend during the morning session. 

The Thai currency opened at 28.71 baht to 28.73 baht compared with the greenback and closed at 28.60 baht to 28.63 baht to the dollar.

A dealer of a local bank said the baht appreciation resulted from existing factor about massive foreign capital inflows, especially, investing in the Thai short-term bonds. 

With the new high record on Friday, the dealer said he did not think there would be significant intervention from the regulator. 

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