Bloomberg News

Ringgit Drops This Week on Europe Debt, Economic Growth Concerns

December 09, 2011

Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia’s ringgit dropped this week as concern Europe’s debt crisis will slow Asian economic growth outweighed government data that showed the nation’s exports grew more than economists estimated.

The currency dropped for a second day as the MSCI Asia- Pacific Index of shares fell after the European Central Bank damped speculation it would step up debt purchases. A report today showed overseas sales increased 15.8 percent in October from a year earlier, compared with the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey for a 7.3 percent gain and less than the 16.6 percent increase in September.

“Concerns of a global slowdown are hurting the outlook for Malaysia’s exports,” Hideki Hayashi, a researcher at the Japan Center for Economic Research in Tokyo, said before the today’s data was released. “Asian currencies, including the ringgit, are seeing downward pressure after the ECB damped speculation over bond purchases.”

The ringgit declined 1 percent this week and 0.6 percent today to 3.1505 per dollar as of 4:42 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It touched 3.1635 earlier, the weakest level since Dec. 1. The currency may retreat to around 3.20 by year-end, Hayashi said.

Industrial production rose 2.8 percent in October from a year earlier, compared with a revised increase of 3 percent the previous month, the statistics department said yesterday.

The yield on the 3.434 percent bonds due August 2014 declined one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, this week to 3.05 percent, according to Bursa Malaysia. The rate fell one basis point today.

--Editors: Andrew Janes, Simon Harvey

To contact the reporter on this story: Yumi Teso in Bangkok at yteso1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sandy Hendry in Hong Kong at shendry@bloomberg.net.


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