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Thai Bonds Post Biggest Weekly Gain Since November on Rate Cut

Thailand’s three-year government bonds had their biggest weekly gain since November as the central bank cut borrowing costs.

The yield dropped to the lowest level since 2010 today after the Bank of Thailand lowered its benchmark interest rate to 2 percent from 2.25 percent on March 12, as expected by 16 of 26 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The Constitutional Court will consider annulling the Feb. 2 incomplete election and ruled on March 12 that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s 2 trillion-baht ($62 billion) infrastructure bill was illegal.

“The rate cut was partly priced in before the meeting, but helped drag down yields and the baht after the decision,” said Kozo Hasegawa, a currency trader at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. in Bangkok. “Investors are keeping their eyes on political developments and, on that front, will stay on the sidelines for a while.”

The yield on the 4.125 percent bonds due November 2016 dropped 12 basis points this week and two basis points today to 2.58 percent as of 3:40 p.m. in Bangkok, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This week’s decline was the biggest since the five-day period ended Nov. 29.

Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission extended its deadline for Yingluck to submit her defense statement over accusations of negligence in her role in overseeing the government’s rice-buying program by an extra 15 days from today, the commission said in a statement yesterday.

The baht declined 0.1 percent from March 7 and was little changed today at 32.328 per dollar, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It reached a one-week low of 32.478 on March 12 and has weakened 3.6 percent since the anti-government demonstrations began on Oct. 31, the worst performance among Asia’s 11 most-traded currencies after Malaysia’s ringgit.

One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, declined one basis point this week to 6.56 percent. The gauge fell six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, today.

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