Best and Worst Asian Currencies vs. US Dollar (Jan-Sept 2017)

James Ryan Jonas

Among 10 currencies in Asia, which currency performed the best and which one performed the worst in the first 9 months of the year?

The year 2017 has been a volatile year for most Asian currencies, impacted by regional and global concerns, including the North Korea nuclear threat, US President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy, Brexit and European region instability, among others, and heightened by local uncertainties within each country.

Still, seven (7) out of 10 Asian currencies appreciated in value versus the US dollar, while three currencies suffered depreciation. Among these 10 currencies, the Thai Baht appreciated the highest while the Philippine Peso was the weakest versus the US Dollar from January to September 2017.

Best Performing Currency: Thai Baht

Thailand’s baht currency appreciated the most versus the US Dollar compared to its regional counterparts. As of September 28, 2017, the baht was trading at 33.41 THB to the dollar, a surge of +6.77% from its level in January.

The Taiwanese Dollar trails the baht in performance, rising by +6% from January to September this year. It closed trading yesterday at 30.39 TWD to the US dollar.

Other currencies that appreciated versus the US Dollar include the Singapore Dollar (up +5.92%), the Malaysian Ringgit (up +5.71%), and the South Korean Won (up 4.71%).

Worst Performing Currency: Philippine Peso

The region’s worst performer is the Philippine Peso, depreciating by -2.69% from January to September. It closed at PHP 50.94 versus the US Dollar yesterday.

Other currencies in the region that experienced depreciation vs. the US dollar include the Hong Kong Dollar, down -0.69%, and the Indonesian Rupiah, down -0.16%, year to date.

Performance of Asian Currencies vs. US Dollar, Jan-Sept 2017

Here’s a comparative summary of how 10 Asian currencies performed versus the US Dollar in the first 9 months of the year.

CURRENCYSYMBOLJan. 2, 2017 USD Exchange RateSept. 28, 2017 USD Exchange RateYear-to-Date Appreciation (Depreciation)
1Thai BahtTHB35.8433.416.77%
2Taiwan DollarTWD32.3330.396.00%
3Singapore DollarSGD1.451.365.92%
4Malaysian RinggitMYR4.494.235.71%
5Korean WonKRW1,2061,1494.71%
6Indian RupeeINR67.9265.423.69%
7Vietnamese DongVND22,76122,7280.14%
8Indonesian RupiahIDR 13,473 13,495 -0.16%
9Hong Kong DollarHKD7.767.81-0.69%
10Philippine PesoPHP49.6050.94-2.69%

Source: Bloomberg

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.