Thailand’s baht dropped toward a two-week low on concern the central bank will seek to curb appreciation that threatens exports. Bonds advanced.
The baht, Asia’s best-performing currency this year, rose 3.9 percent since Dec. 31 and touched a 16-year high last month. February’s 5.8 percent decline in exports was partly caused by exchange-rate strength, Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said yesterday in Brunei. The International Monetary Fund will contribute about 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) as part of a financial rescue program for Cyprus, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said yesterday.
“Concern about intervention seems to be growing as the baht has come quite far while export is an important part of the Thai economy,” said Hideki Hayashi, a researcher at the Japan Center for Economic Research in Tokyo. “Europe’s debt concern is not completely wiped out, and that’s providing some excuse for a correction in the baht.”