Baht Set for Weekly Gain After Funds Boost Thai Asset Holdings

Thailand’s baht was poised for a fourth weekly gain, its longest winning streak since March 2011, after international investors raised holdings of the nation’s assets on optimism economic growth will improve this year.

The baht touched a three-month high yesterday as global funds purchased $367 million more Thai equities than they sold this week through yesterday and bought a net $829 million of government notes, data from the stock exchange and the Thai Bond Market Association show. Consumer confidence rose for a second consecutive month in January as the nation recovers from its worst floods in almost 70 years, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce said yesterday.

“We are seeing a recovery in the Thai economy from the floods and growth prospects are now better,” said Hideki Hayashi, a researcher at the Japan Center for Economic Research in Tokyo. “Fund inflows are supporting the baht.”

The baht advanced 0.3 percent this week to 30.77 per dollar as of 8:18 a.m. in Bangkok, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It reached 30.68 yesterday, the strongest level since Nov. 9. The currency was little changed today.

Thai exports may increase by between 1 percent and 5 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier as factories recover from last year’s floods, the state-run Export Promotion Department said on Feb. 7. Overseas shipments account for about two-thirds of Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

The yield on the government’s 3.25 percent bonds due June 2017 increased six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 3.15 percent this week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The rate was unchanged today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yumi Teso in Bangkok at yteso1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sandy Hendry at shendry@bloomberg.net

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