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Thailand’s baht fell the most in six weeks as Chinese data damped the nation’s export outlook. Government bonds fell even after an upgrade by Fitch Ratings.
Industrial output in China, Thailand’s largest overseas market, had the slowest start to the year since 2009, an official report showed on March 9. Thailand’s credit rating was restored to BBB+ by Fitch Ratings on March 8, four years after political turmoil prompted a cut. The rating, three levels above junk, is back in line with those of Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service.
“Weaker-than-expected China data is weighing on the baht,” said Shigehisa Shiroki, chief trader on the Asian and emerging-markets team at Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd. in Tokyo. “Sentiment itself is not so weak, but there’s a broad dollar- buying move today as well. The rating upgrade was already priced in and didn’t have any impact.”
The baht declined 0.3 percent, the most since Jan. 25, to 29.81 per dollar as of 8:49 a.m. in Bangkok, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That pared its gain this year to 2.6 percent, the best performance among the 11 most-traded Asian currencies. One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, rose one basis point to 5.09 percent.
The Dollar Index (DXY), which tracks the greenback against the currencies of six major trading partners, rose 0.1 percent today after advancing 0.8 percent on March 8, the most since Feb. 20.
The yield on Thailand’s 3.625 percent government bonds due June 2023 rose one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 3.66 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
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