Thailand's baht was headed for its biggest weekly loss since June amid concern its appreciation to a 17-month high versus the United States dollar and a four-year high against the yen will hurt exports. Government bonds held steady.
The currency snapped a run of seven weekly rallies after Thailand reported overseas sales data on Jan 23 that missed economist estimates. Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said yesterday he would like to see the baht "a little bit" weaker as appreciation was putting pressure on exporters. The currency reached the strongest level since Aug 2011 versus the dollar on Jan 21 and hit the highest level since Oct 2008 versus the yen on Friday.
"The authorities are getting more uncomfortable with sharp appreciation against the dollar and the yen," said Wee-Khoon Chong, a strategist at Societe Generale SA in Hong Kong.
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