Thailand’s baht weakened for a second day as data over the weekend showed China’s services industries expanded at the slowest pace since September, worsening the outlook for Asian exports. Bonds were steady.
The non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 54.5 in February from 56.2 in January, the Beijing-based National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said yesterday. China was Thailand’s biggest export market in January, accounting for 12 percent of total overseas sales, official data show. In the U.S., the second- largest market alongside Japan for the Southeast Asian nation’s goods, confidence among households rose more than projected in February, data showed March 1.
“Weak data from China is raising concerns about the export outlook for Asia’s emerging economies as a whole,” said Kozo Hasegawa, a foreign-exchange trader in Bangkok at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. “But I don’t think the baht will see sharp, one-way downward pressure as data from the U.S. remains pretty solid. Many investors may want to take a wait-and-see attitude for now.”
The baht declined 0.1 percent to 29.80 per dollar as of 8:35 a.m. in Bangkok, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, dropped 23 basis points, or 0.23 percentage point, to 5.05 percent.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment climbed to 77.6 from 73.8 in January, data showed on March 1.
The yield on Thailand’s 3.625 percent government notes due June 2023 was little changed at 3.62 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
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