Ringgit Falls for Second Week Before Interest Rate Decision

Malaysia’s ringgit was headed for a second straight weekly loss before the central bank announced a review of its monetary policy today.

Bank Negara Malaysia will keep its overnight rate unchanged at 3 percent, according to 18 of 19 economists in a Bloomberg survey. One forecast a 25-basis point reduction. The currency fell for a third day after government data yesterday showed that factory output rose less in September than analysts had estimated. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index of shares held near a three-week low after the European Commission cut the region’s growth forecast for 2012 to 0.5 percent from 1.8 percent.

“I expect some uncertainty in the market given the rate- setting meeting as people would be looking out for the tone of the policy statement,” said Calbert Loh, the head of treasury at Bangkok Bank Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. “Unresolved debt problems in Europe and a weakening global economy are weighing on sentiment.”

The ringgit slumped 0.9 percent this week to 3.1420 per dollar as of 4:35 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It slid 1.5 percent last week.

Industrial production climbed 2.5 percent from a year earlier in September after rising a revised 3.7 percent in August. The median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey was for an increase of 2.6 percent.

The central bank meets a day after Indonesia unexpectedly cut its reference rate by 50 basis points to 6 percent. Bank Negara Malaysia’s decision is due at about 6 p.m. local time.

Government bonds rose this week. The yield on the 4.262 percent notes due September 2016 dropped 11 basis points, or 0.11 percentage point, to 3.22 percent, according to Bursa Malaysia.

To contact the reporter on 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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