Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia’s ringgit dropped to a one- week low before data that economists predict will show growth in Singapore, the nation’s second-largest export market, slowed in the fourth quarter.
Gross domestic product rose 4 percent after increasing 6.1 percent in the three months through September, Singapore’s government will say on Jan. 3, according to the median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index of shares fell for a third consecutive day following a report that showed the European Central Bank’s balance sheet surged to a record after it lent financial institutions more money last week to keep credit flowing.
“The ECB news spooked the market,” said Syhiful Zamri Abdul Azid, director of investment, research and advisory at Kenanga Investors Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. “That’s why emerging- market assets such as the ringgit are under pressure.”
The ringgit fell 0.4 percent to 3.1790 per dollar as of 5:27 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, taking its drop for the year to 3.6 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It earlier touched 3.1820, the weakest level since Dec. 21.
“There is going to be a risk” to Malaysia’s economic growth if Europe’s credit crisis worsens, central bank Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz said on Nov. 15.
Five-year government bonds rose. The yield on the 4.262 percent notes due September 2016 decreased one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 3.22 percent, according to Bursa Malaysia. The rate has dropped 31 basis points since it was listed on March 17.
--Editors: Ven Ram, Barry Porter
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