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Thai Baht Jumps as China Data Ease Slowdown Concerns; Bonds Gain

Thailand’s baht rose the most in four weeks after data showed exports and imports rebounded in China, the Southeast Asian nation’s largest overseas market. Government bonds advanced for a fourth day.

The currency sank to a one-month low yesterday as parliament began debating an amnesty bill for political prisoners and those facing charges related to government protests after former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was toppled in a 2006 coup. China’s overseas sales rose 5.1 percent in July, after a 3.1 percent drop the previous month, and imports climbed 11 percent, the government reported today.

“With lingering concern about China’s slowdown, people in the market reacted quickly to the strong data today,” said Koji Fukaya, chief executive officer and foreign-exchange strategist at FPG Securities Co. in Tokyo. “Domestically, there’s political concern in Thailand and investors may want to stay on the sidelines for a while.”

The baht advanced 0.5 percent, the most since July 11, to 31.27 per dollar as of 3:48 p.m. in Bangkok, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It touched 31.49 yesterday, the weakest level since July 8. One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, rose 13 basis points, or 0.13 percentage point, to 6.49 percent.

China accounted for 11 percent of Thailand’s exports in the first half of 2013, official data show. Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said on July 29 that total shipments during the period were lower than expected and there should be an improvement in the July-December period.

The yield on the 3.625 percent sovereign bonds due June 2023 declined four basis points to a one-week low of 3.93 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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