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Baht Falls on Speculation Importers to Increase Dollar Purchases

Thailand’s baht dropped for a second day, retreating from a three-month high, on speculation importers will step up purchases of the dollar to take advantage of a more favorable exchange-rate.

The currency erased its weekly advance and the MSCI Asia-Pacific Index of shares dropped by the most since Dec. 19 after European leaders held back a bailout package for Greece, sapping demand for emerging-market assets. The baht reached a three-month high of 30.68 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.

“The current levels provide a good opportunity for importers to buy the dollar,” said Hideki Hayashi, a researcher at the Japan Center for Economic Research in Tokyo. “Concern Greece won’t be able to solve the issue easily is deteriorating sentiment and puts downward pressure on the regional currencies.”

The baht slumped 0.3 percent to 30.85 per dollar as of 3:54 p.m. in Bangkok, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency, which was unchanged from a week ago, may trade between 30.60 and 31 in the next week or two weeks, Hayashi said.

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.

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