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Ringgit Halts 2-Day Gain on Concern Global Recovery Faltering

Malaysia’s ringgit halted a two-day gain as concern the global economic recovery is faltering heightened risk aversion and damped demand for emerging-market assets.

The U.S. reported June 3 that payrolls grew at the slowest pace in eight months in May and the unemployment rate jumped to the highest level this year. Greece’s efforts to resolve its debt crisis are being complicated by a failure by European regulators to make banks raise enough capital to withstand a default. The “fragilities” of Europe’s banking industry mean a Greek default isn’t an option, European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said last week.

“People are selling emerging-market currencies because of the ongoing situation in Greece,” said Azmi Shukri Rahman, a foreign-exchange trader at CIMB Investment Bank Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. “I don’t think the ringgit will fall too much given the expectation of a rate increase.”

The ringgit traded at 3.0075 per dollar as of 4:57 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, little changed from 3.0085 yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A government report on June 9 may show factory output rose 2.5 percent in April from a year earlier, compared with 2.4 percent in March, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

The central bank raised its overnight policy rate to 3 percent from 2.75 percent on May 5. The monetary authority will next review borrowing costs on July 7. Inflation was at a two-year high of 3.2 percent in April.

Government bonds fell. The yield on the 4.16 percent note due July 2021 rose one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 4.04 percent, according to Bursa Malaysia.

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