Thailand’s SET Index slumped 5.2%, the most since September 2011, and the baht fell to the weakest since 2010. Groups opposed to caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra plan to surround government ministries and occupy 20 major intersections in Bangkok on Jan. 13 until she agrees to step down and allow an unelected council to reform the country’s electoral system, Suthep Thaugsuban, a former opposition lawmaker who is leading the movement, said yesterday.
South Korea’s Kospi index tumbled 2.2%, the steepest decline since July 2012, as Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. forecast their weakest sales growth in eight years.
Italian 10-year yields dropped as much as 17 basis points to 3.96%, the lowest since May, while the rate on two- year Spanish notes fell as low as 1.16%, the least since Bloomberg started tracking the data in 1993.
The dollar strengthened against 13 of 16 major peers, rising 0.8% to $1.3654 per euro while weakening 0.5% to 104.71 yen.
Gold futures rose 1.9%, the most in three weeks, to $1,225.20 an ounce in New York on speculation that demand for bars and jewelry will increase in Asia. Platinum posted the biggest gain in more than two months, adding 2.2%, and silver jumped 3.9% after a 36% plunge in 2013.
West Texas Intermediate oil dropped 3% to $95.44 a barrel. That’s the biggest decline since Nov. 7, 2012, and the lowest closing level in a month.
The cost of insuring against losses on corporate bonds was little changed, with the Markit iTraxx Europe Index of credit- default swaps on 125 investment-grade companies at 71 basis points. The gauge dropped 47 basis points last year, following a 56-basis point decline in 2012.