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Strong US dollar hits Thai baht, Malaysian ringgit hardest among Asean currencies

STORM clouds are gathering for South-east Asian currencies as the US dollar fires up in a robust start to the dragon year, fuelled by stubborn inflation and rosy jobs data, heightening expectations that the US Federal Reserve will maintain rates higher for longer.

Across South-east Asia, the Thai baht and Malaysian ringgit have been the hardest hit, although there was a brief recovery on Thursday (Mar 21) following the US central bank’s latest decision to hold rates.

“Almost all currencies in the world weakened against the US dollar in the first quarter. Asean FX (foreign exchange) was not an exception,” HSBC Head of Asia FX Research Joey Chew told The Business Times.


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