DBS analysts see Singdollar weakening to 1.40 to US dollar by year-end

The Singdollar has weakened by about 3.5 per cent against the US currency since the end of  2017 when it traded at 1.3358 to the US dollar.
The Singdollar has weakened by about 3.5 per cent against the US currency since the end of 2017 when it traded at 1.3358 to the US dollar.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - DBS Group Research downgraded its Singapore dollar (SGD) forecast last Friday (Oct 26) as its analysts said the currency was "too strong" relative to external and domestic factors.

In a research note, FX (forex) strategist Philip Wee and economist Radhika Rao said they now believe that that USD/SGD will rise to 1.40 by the end of this year and stay above that level into 2019.

The Singdollar was trading at 1.3829 at 10:50am on Tuesday. It has weakened by about 3.5 per cent against the US currency since the end of last year when it traded at 1.3358 to the US dollar.

According to DBS Group Research's model, the floor of the USD/SGD policy band was just above 1.38 on Tuesday morning, higher than the 1.3728 floor seen on Oct 12 when the SGD policy was tightened.

"Looking ahead, external and domestic factors suggest that the SGD should move away from the strongest limit towards the mid-point of its policy band, currently located just below 1.41 against the US dollar," the analysts wrote.

They said the USD is strong against currencies in the developed and emerging markets, thanks to factors such as rising US rates. In Asia, currencies such as the Thai baht and South Korean won have weakened to a low this year due to trade tensions between the US and China.

"Domestically, there are fewer fundamental reasons for the SGD to cling tightly to the strongest limit of its policy band," DBS added. The analysts pointed out that among other factors, CPI (consumer price index) inflation is within this year's forecast range of zero to 1 per cent, while there are no signs that core inflation will exceed the 1-2 per cent forecast range anytime soon.