Thai baht, stocks hammered after deadly Bangkok blast

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Bangkok blast
The moment of the detonation in Bangkok at 18.55h on August 17, 2015.

Thailand’s currency, the baht, fell to a six-year low against the US dollar on August 18 in the aftermath of the devastating bomb attack in the capital Bangkok on the previous evening that left more than 20 people dead and more than 125 wounded. It is known at the present stages that at least eight tourists from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are among those killed in the attack.

Stocks slumped too amid heightened uncertainty over what to expect next after what authorities said was the worst ever attack on Thai soil, targeted at foreigners and a bid to “destroy the economy.”

The benchmark SET index opened down 2.7 per cent at 1,408, while the Thai baht lost as much as 0.5 per cent, falling to 35.55 against the US dollar, its lowest since April 2009.

Thai authorities have launched an urgent investigation to determine who was behind the attack. So far, no one has claimed responsibility. The US State Department said overnight that it was too soon to tell if the blast was a terrorist attack.
The attack poses a fresh threat for an economy that is already slowing amid weaker private consumption and investment growth. On August 17, Thailand reported that GDP expanded by 2.8 per cent on year in the second quarter, down from 3.0 per cent in the previous three months.

The National Economic and Social Development Board expected (ahead of the attacks) exports to contract 3.5 per cent this year, rather than a rise of 0.2 per cent.

The tourism sector, which accounts for about 10 per cent of Thailand’s GDP, in particular is expected to suffer a blow from the incident as governments begin to issue travel warnings. Hong Kong has advised its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Thailand, while the US has asked its nationals to stay clear of the effected area and monitor local media for updates. The Australian government advised its national to stay clear of the central business district.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The moment of the detonation in Bangkok at 18.55h on August 17, 2015.

Thailand’s currency, the baht, fell to a six-year low against the US dollar on August 18 in the aftermath of the devastating bomb attack in the capital Bangkok on the previous evening that left more than 20 people dead and more than 125 wounded. It is known at the present stages that at least eight tourists from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are among those killed in the attack.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bangkok blast
The moment of the detonation in Bangkok at 18.55h on August 17, 2015.

Thailand’s currency, the baht, fell to a six-year low against the US dollar on August 18 in the aftermath of the devastating bomb attack in the capital Bangkok on the previous evening that left more than 20 people dead and more than 125 wounded. It is known at the present stages that at least eight tourists from China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are among those killed in the attack.

Stocks slumped too amid heightened uncertainty over what to expect next after what authorities said was the worst ever attack on Thai soil, targeted at foreigners and a bid to “destroy the economy.”

The benchmark SET index opened down 2.7 per cent at 1,408, while the Thai baht lost as much as 0.5 per cent, falling to 35.55 against the US dollar, its lowest since April 2009.

Thai authorities have launched an urgent investigation to determine who was behind the attack. So far, no one has claimed responsibility. The US State Department said overnight that it was too soon to tell if the blast was a terrorist attack.
The attack poses a fresh threat for an economy that is already slowing amid weaker private consumption and investment growth. On August 17, Thailand reported that GDP expanded by 2.8 per cent on year in the second quarter, down from 3.0 per cent in the previous three months.

The National Economic and Social Development Board expected (ahead of the attacks) exports to contract 3.5 per cent this year, rather than a rise of 0.2 per cent.

The tourism sector, which accounts for about 10 per cent of Thailand’s GDP, in particular is expected to suffer a blow from the incident as governments begin to issue travel warnings. Hong Kong has advised its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Thailand, while the US has asked its nationals to stay clear of the effected area and monitor local media for updates. The Australian government advised its national to stay clear of the central business district.

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