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Baht Falls to 10-Month Low, Bonds Decline on U.S. Jobs Report

Thailand’s baht fell to a 10-month low and government bonds declined after U.S. jobs data spurred speculation the Federal Reserve will cut monetary stimulus, reducing demand for emerging-market assets.

Global funds have sold $1.4 billion more Thai debt than they bought since May 22, when Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke first indicated that asset purchases could be pared if there’s a sustained improvement in the labor market. U.S. companies took on more workers than economists forecast last month, a July 5 report showed. The Bank of Thailand will leave its policy rate at 2.5 percent on July 10, according to 13 of 14 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. One forecast a 25-basis-point cut.

“It’s a reaction to the better-than-expected non-farm payrolls and people are still withdrawing money from the region,” said Pareena Phuangsiri, a Bangkok-based analyst at Kasikornbank Pcl. “Attention will also be on comments from the Bank of Thailand. We expect them to stay pat because if they move rates it will create more volatility.”

The baht dropped 0.5 percent to 31.46 per dollar as of 3:17 p.m. in Bangkok and touched 31.53 earlier, the weakest level since Aug. 21, 2012, data compiled by Bloomberg show. One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, climbed 30 basis points to 7.56 percent.

U.S. employers added 195,000 workers for the second month in a row in June, a Labor Department report showed July 5. The unemployment rate held at 7.6 percent, near a four-year low.

The yield on the 3.625 percent Thai notes due June 2023 jumped nine basis points, or 0.09 percentage point, to 3.83 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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