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Baht Touches 11-Week High as U.S. Jobs Data Boosts Risk-Taking

Aug. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Thailand’s baht touched an 11-week high as better-than-expected U.S. payroll data encouraged risk-taking. Government bonds advanced.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of shares climbed the most in more than a week after a Labor Department report on Aug. 3 showed U.S. employers added 163,000 jobs last month, more than the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey for 100,000 positions. Global funds bought $84 million more local equities and $983 million more Thai government debt than they sold last week, according to data from the stock exchange and the Thai Bond Market Association.

“An equity rally and the improving risk sentiment are boosting the baht and other regional currencies,” said Disawat Tiaowvanich, a foreign-exchange trader at Bangkok Bank Pcl. “A main theme this week remains whether the U.S. will introduce quantitative easing.”

The baht added 0.1 percent to 31.52 per dollar as of 3:13 p.m. in Bangkok, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It gained as much as 0.9 percent to 31.27 earlier, the strongest level since May 22. The currency may trade between 31.30 and 31.60 for the rest of this week, Disawat said. One-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, was little changed at 4.51 percent.

The yield on the 3.25 percent bonds due June 2017 fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 3.15 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: James Regan at jregan19@bloomberg.net.

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