Baht Falls to 2-Month Low on Political, Growth Risks; Bonds Drop

Thailand’s baht fell by the most in more than a week amid concern political unrest will further slow the economy. Ten-year sovereign bonds dropped for a third day.

The currency touched a two-month low as the Constitutional Court ruled against the government’s attempt to establish a fully elected Senate that would have resulted in the disbanding of the ruling party, according to a live broadcast on the TPBS TV channel. Supporters and opponents of the government are holding separate demonstrations in Bangkok today. The economy grew 2.7 percent last quarter, slowing from 2.9 percent in the previous three months that was the weakest since the first quarter of 2012, official data showed Nov. 18.

“The political situation in Thailand remains uncertain and the economic outlook is weak,” said Tohru Nishihama, an economist covering emerging markets at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute Inc. in Tokyo. “The baht will probably continue to see some downward pressure for a while.”

The baht fell 0.3 percent, the biggest loss since Nov. 11, to 31.68 per dollar as of 2:36 p.m. in Bangkok, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It reached 31.74 earlier, the weakest level since Sept. 18.

One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, declined two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 5.94 percent.

Thailand’s government cut its 2013 expansion forecast on Nov. 18 to 3 percent from a range of 3.8 percent to 4.3 percent projected in August. It also said it expected no export growth this year, compared with 5 percent in 2012.

The yield on the 3.625 percent sovereign bonds due June 2023 increased four basis points to a two-month high of 4.13 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Regan at jregan19@bloomberg.net

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