Baht Falls to 10-Month Low, Bonds Decline on U.S. Jobs Report
Thailand’s baht declined to a 10-month low and government bonds fell after U.S. jobs data spurred speculation the Federal Reserve will cut monetary stimulus, reducing demand for emerging-market assets.
Global funds have sold $1.4 billion more Thai debt than they bought since May 22, when Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke first indicated that asset purchases could be pared if there’s a sustained improvement in the labor market. U.S. companies took on more workers than economists forecast last month, July 5 data showed. The Bank of Thailand may leave its policy rate unchanged at 2.5 percent July 10, according to 13 of 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. One predicts a 25-basis-point cut.
“It’s a reaction to the better-than-expected non-farm payrolls and people are still withdrawing money from the region,” said Pareena Phuangsiri, a Bangkok-based analyst at Kasikornbank Pcl. “Attention will also be on comments from the Bank of Thailand. We expect them to stay pat because if they move rates it will create more volatility.”
The baht dropped 0.2 percent to 31.36 per dollar as of 9:16 a.m. in Bangkok after reaching 31.39 earlier, the weakest level since Sept. 3, data compiled by Bloomberg show. One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, was little changed at 7.27 percent.
U.S. employers added 195,000 workers for the second month in a row in June, a Labor Department report showed July 5. The unemployment rate held at 7.6 percent, near a four-year low.
The yield on the 3.125 percent Thai notes due December 2015 climbed three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 2.93 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
To contact the reporter on this story: Yumi Teso in Bangkok at email@example.com