Baht Falls for a Second Day on Europe Woes, Bangkok Explosions

Thailand’s baht dropped for a second straight day as speculation Greece will default on its debt damped sentiment toward emerging-market assets.

European finance ministers canceled a meeting in Brussels slated for today and urged Greece to do more to clinch a bailout package needed to meet debt obligations falling due next month. The risk of a “disorderly default has risen,” according to Thomas Costerg, a London-based economist at Standard Chartered Plc. Thai government bonds were steady on concern explosions in Bangkok yesterday may hurt tourism and slow an economy recovering from the nation’s worst floods in almost 70 years.

“On top of European debt concerns, Thailand has some domestic risk,” said Hideki Hayashi, a researcher at the Japan Center for Economic Research in Tokyo. “The explosions hurt investor sentiment and the baht may stay under some downward pressure.”

The baht dropped 0.2 percent to 30.89 per dollar as of 8:38 a.m. in Bangkok, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It may slide to around 31 this week, Hayashi said.

An Iranian was critically injured in the blasts as he and two other men tried to escape arrest following an explosion at their rented home, government spokeswoman Thitima Chaisang said by phone yesterday. The incident occurred a month after the U.S. Embassy warned that “foreign terrorists” were aiming to attack tourist areas in Bangkok.

The yield on the government’s 3.25 percent bonds due June 2017 was unchanged at 3.20 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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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