Ringgit Headed for Second Weekly Loss on Asian Growth Concern

Malaysia’s ringgit was headed for a second weekly loss as data showed Asian economies are slowing, damping the nation’s export outlook.

MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) of shares was poised for its biggest weekly loss since the five days ended May 18 as official data showed China’s economy expanded 7.6 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace in three years. Singapore’s gross domestic product decreased 1.1 percent in the three months through June, a report showed today, while the Bank of Korea said that nation’s economy will expand 3 percent this year, from a previous estimate of 3.5 percent. China and Singapore are Malaysia’s top two export markets.

“Growth is now the key concern,” said Philip Wee, a Singapore-based senior currency economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd. “ Korea is basically looking for below-trend growth because of the uncertain external environment particularly pertaining to the U.S., Europe and China.”

The ringgit dropped 0.2 percent this week to 3.1854 per dollar as of 4:55 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It gained 0.2 percent today. The currency’s one-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange- rate swings used to price options, rose 15 basis points to 6.55 percent. It increased five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point, this week.

Ten-year government bonds were little changed today. The yield on the 3.418 percent notes due August 2022 was 3.44 percent, according to Bursa Malaysia. It declined three basis points for the week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chong Pooi Koon in Kuala Lumpur at pchong17@bloomberg.net

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

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