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Thai Baht Touches Two-Week Low on Export Outlook; Bonds Steady

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Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Thailand’s baht touched a two-week low before data that economists predict will show exports dropped for a second month in July. Government bonds were steady.

Overseas sales, which account for about two-thirds of Thailand’s economy, fell 3.5 percent from a year earlier, compared with a decline of 4.2 percent the previous month, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before a government report on Aug. 21 or Aug. 22. Thailand said today that gross domestic product increased 4.2 percent in the second quarter, faster than a revised 0.4 percent expansion in the previous three months.

“The data was for the second quarter and the outlook is expected to be weaker,” said Wee-Khoon Chong, a fixed-income strategist at Societe Generale SA in Hong Kong. “Export data has already shown weakness. The pressure is still for the upside of the dollar against the baht.”

The baht was little changed at 31.51 per dollar as of 3:09 p.m. in Bangkok after touching 31.62 earlier, the weakest level since Aug. 3, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. One-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, was little changed at 4.51 percent.

The National Economic and Social Development Board reduced its forecast for full-year export growth to 7.3 percent from 15.1 percent on concern Europe’s debt crisis will damp demand. Gross domestic product is forecast to expand 5.5 percent to 6 percent, compared with a previous growth range of 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent, it said today.

The yield on the 3.25 percent bonds due June 2017 was 3.18 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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