Baht rises most in three weeks

Thailand’s baht gained the most in more than three weeks and 10-year government bonds rose as data showed foreigners increased holdings of local debt.

The nation plans to issue 113 billion baht ($3.5 billion) of notes this quarter, compared with 138 billion baht a year earlier, official figures show.

The baht rose, tracking yesterday’s gains in some regional currencies, after US jobs data that trailed estimates pushed back the expected timetable for borrowing-cost increases. Thai officials will meet today to assess the possibility of setting a date for general elections.

Thailand’s currency appreciated 0.4% from April 4, the most since March 13, to 32.41 per dollar as of 11.08am in Bangkok, according to prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg. Global funds bought $440 million more Thai debt than they sold last week, the biggest inflow since the five-day period ended Oct 18, official data show.

“Demand and supply conditions are supportive of bonds,” said Toru Nishihama, an economist covering emerging markets at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute Inc in Tokyo. “There may be some purchases of Thai assets as the political situation remains calm, but I don’t see aggressive buying as the unrest is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.”

One-month implied volatility in the baht, a measure of expected exchange-rate moves used to price options, fell 35 basis points to 5.74% from the end of last week and reached 5.73% earlier, the lowest level since November.

The Constitutional Court last month invalidated a February vote and the Election Commission said March 21 it may be at least three months before a new vote can be held, keeping Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government in caretaker mode.

Government bonds advanced. The yield on the 3.625% notes due June 2023 dropped two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, from April 4 to 3.67%, the lowest level since March 17, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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