Baht gains most in three weeks

Thailand's baht rose the most in almost three weeks after voters cast ballots across 90% of the country Sunday without triggering major violence.

The baht strengthened 0.3%, the most since Jan 14, to 32.915 per United States dollar as of 8.56am, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency fell every day last week, declining 0.6%.

Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said she was pleased with the situation because there was no violence, after polls closed at 3pm local time Sunday. She deployed 10,000 police in Bangkok, having declared a state of emergency to avoid a repeat of the disturbances that obstructed advance voting in the south and most of the capital on Jan 26. Global funds have pulled a net US$4.7 billion from the country's bonds and stocks since the protests began Oct 31, official data show.

"There was some concern surrounding the election but it ended without any chaos, leading to some buy-backs of the baht," said Kozo Hasegawa, a currency trader at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp in Bangkok. "But a rebound in the baht may be limited as there's no change in the situation with political unrest continuing."

Results delayed

The country's third general election since a 2006 coup will do little to quell street protests by groups demanding Yingluck’s resignation and the installation of an appointed government. The results of the poll, which the main opposition Democrat Party boycotted, won’t be announced until by-elections are held in dozens of districts where protesters blocked candidates from registering.

Ten people have been killed and almost 600 injured since the protests began. Suthep Thaugsuban, a former Democrat powerbroker who has led a three-month campaign to oust Ms Yingluck, said the election will be annulled because his group blocked candidates from registering in some provinces and shut down polling stations during advance voting. Protesters have also occupied several major intersections in the city since Jan 13 in a bid to prevent Ms Yingluck's government from functioning.

One-month implied volatility in the baht, a measure of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 7.4%.

The yield on the 3.125% government bonds due December 2015 declined one basis point to 2.44%.

Share your thoughts

Discussion 1 : 03/02/2014 at 05:59 PM
I will ASAP run to my local bank and start to invest my life earnings into the Baht. The Bath has proven it self as rock solid word trade currency, well before such stunts as Japanese yen and the dollars.. not to mention the Euro. The Reporters at Bangkok Post and the experts at Thai central bank always give a correct and balanced reporting free from nationalist prejudices and uber-alles mind..
Discussion 2 : 03/02/2014 at 01:30 PM
The one number we haven't seen is how many of the 48 million eligible voters actually cast ballots. Turnouts were exceeding low (26% in Bangkok) and many ballots were turned in with a "No Vote" box checked. The whole thing is moot as there will not be a 95% majority in Parliament to form a new government. And how can you hold additional voting later when the population will know in advance who are the winners and losers. It's like betting on a race with only one runner. There will be so many lawsuits and challenges this may never get sorted out. And who really cares about the baht anyway?
Discussion 3 : 03/02/2014 at 11:12 AM
May I ask: on which markets the Bath won? The most interesting Markets in the US and in Europe are still closed!

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