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Baht Touches Two-Week High on U.S. Factory Report; Bonds Rise

Oct. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Thailand’s baht touched a two-week high as a U.S. manufacturing report eased concern global economic growth is slowing, spurring demand for emerging-market stocks. Government bonds advanced.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index of shares snapped a two-day loss after the U.S. Institute for Supply Management’s factory index for September rose to 51.5, more than the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 49.7, and 49.6 in August. The U.S. will release employment figures this week. Global funds bought $28 million more Thai equities than they sold yesterday and pumped a net $89 million into sovereign debt, according to stock exchange and the Thai Bond Market Association data.

“Better-than-expected numbers out of the U.S. improved risk sentiment today, supporting stocks and emerging-market currencies,” said Hideki Hayashi, a researcher at the Japan Center for Economic Research in Tokyo. “Investors are waiting for jobs data from the U.S.”

The baht added 0.1 percent to 30.75 per dollar as of 3:02 p.m. in Bangkok, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency touched 30.70 earlier, the strongest level since Sept. 17. One-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, was unchanged at 4.27 percent.

The U.S. is Thailand’s third-largest export market, accounting for about 10 percent of the total shipments in the first seven months of this year, official data show.

The yield on the 3.65 percent bonds due December 2021 dropped two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 3.48 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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