Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia’s ringgit gained this week after inflation slowed and better-than-expected U.S. economic data bolstered demand for emerging-market assets.
The currency touched a two-week high today as the MSCI Asia-Pacific Index of shares advanced after data showed applications for U.S. jobless benefits held at a four-year low, while a rise in a Federal Housing Finance Agency index of housing prices topped forecasts. Malaysian consumer prices rose 2.7 percent in January from a year earlier, the least in 12 months, according to a government report on Feb. 22.
“The U.S. numbers helped the market,” said Calbert Loh, the Kuala Lumpur-based head of treasury at Bangkok Bank Bhd. “The data has increased confidence about the prospects for emerging markets.”
The ringgit added 0.7 percent this week to 3.0140 per dollar as of 4:09 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It was steady today. The currency touched 3.0045 earlier, the strongest level since Feb. 9.
Five-year government bonds declined this week. The yield on the 4.262 percent notes due September 2016 rose seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage point, to 3.22 percent, according to Bursa Malaysia. The yield climbed two basis points today.
--Editors: Andrew Janes, Ven Ram
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