Bloomberg News

Ringgit Falls for a Sixth Day on Global Economic Growth Concern

December 15, 2011

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia’s ringgit slumped for a sixth day, its longest losing streak in three months, as concern Europe’s debt crisis will slow global economic growth damped demand for emerging-market assets.

The currency reached a 10-week low before data tomorrow that economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict will show Singapore’s exports contracted for a third month in November. The city-state is Malaysia’s second-largest export market. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index of stocks fell for a third day after Fitch Ratings downgraded five European lenders yesterday, including Credit Agricole, France’s second-biggest bank by assets.

“People are in a risk-off mode because of the uncertainty over the European crisis,” said Zulkiflee Nidzam, head of foreign-exchange trading at Asian Finance Bank Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur.

The ringgit dropped 0.4 percent to 3.1970 per dollar as of 9:36 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It touched 3.2045, its weakest level since Oct. 5. The currency may decline to 3.21 this week, Nidzam said.

Singaporean non-oil domestic exports contracted 1.2 percent from a year earlier in November after shrinking 16.2 percent in October, according to the median estimate of 11 economists.

Malaysia’s overseas sales climbed 15.8 percent from a year earlier in October, slower than 16.6 percent the month before, according to a trade ministry statement on Dec. 9. Industrial output cooled to 2.8 percent last month after rising a revised 3 percent in September, the statistics department said on Dec. 8.

Government bonds were little changed. The yield on the 4.262 percent note due September 2016 held at 3.26 percent, according to Bursa Malaysia.

--Editors: Andrew Janes, Ven Ram

%MYR

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Elffie Chew in Kuala Lumpur at echew16@bloomberg.net.

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


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