Thai Baht Declines on Dimming Outlook for Exports; Bonds Rise

Thailand’s baht fell, snapping a four-day gain, on concern economic weakness in Europe and China will hurt the Southeast Asian nation’s exports. Bonds gained.

The currency retreated from its strongest level in more than six months before a report today that economists forecast will show retail sales in the euro area shrank the most in four months in August, according to a Bloomberg survey. Manufacturing contracted a second month in September in China, Thailand’s largest export market, according to figures released this week. Weaker exports may hurt consumption and investment in the longer term, Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said on Sept. 26.

“Market sentiment is quite weak, weighing on regional currencies,” said Tohru Nishihama, an economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute Inc. in Tokyo. “Investors remain bearish on the outlook for the Chinese economy and that is negative for countries that depend on China for their exports. It’s hard to aggressively take riskier positions in this environment.”

The baht lost 0.1 percent to 30.67 per dollar as of 3:02 p.m. in Bangkok, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency touched 30.63 earlier, the strongest level since March. One-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, was unchanged at 4.27 percent.

Thai exports fell 5.1 percent in August from a year earlier after having decreased 3.9 percent the previous month, according to official figures. China bought 11.9 percent of goods shipped from Thailand in the first eight months of this year, while Europe accounted for 8.6 percent.

The yield on the 3.65 percent bonds due December 2021 fell four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 3.44 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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