Baht Advances for a Second Day as German Data Boosts Risk Taking
Thailand’s baht rose for a second day and government bonds advanced after stronger-than-estimated German data and gains in global stocks improved risk appetite ahead of the central bank’s meeting on interest rates.
The ZEW Center for European Economic Research said yesterday German investor confidence climbed to the highest in almost three years. Europe is Thailand’s fourth-largest export market after purchasing 8.5 percent of total shipments in the first 10 months of last year, official data show. Global funds bought $1.7 billion more sovereign debt than they sold in February, according to the Thai Bond Market Association.
“With gains in global equities and a strong ZEW result, risk sentiment is better supported,” said Sacha Tihanyi, senior foreign-exchange strategist at Scotiabank in Hong Kong. “Conditions remain supportive for continued inflows for the time being.”
The baht added 0.1 percent to 29.85 per dollar as of 9:05 a.m. in Bangkok, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The currency has strengthened 2.5 percent this year, the best performance in Asia. One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, dropped eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 5.25 percent.
The Bank of Thailand will keep its benchmark interest rate at 2.75 percent today, according to 17 of 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Three predict a quarter of a percentage point reduction. The decision is due at 2:30 p.m. local time.
The German index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months in advance, climbed to 48.2 in February from 31.5 in January. Economists forecast a gain to 35, according to the median of 38 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of U.S. equities rose to a five-year high.
The yield on the 3.625 percent Thai government bonds due June 2023 declined one basis point to 3.61 percent, falling for a third day, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
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