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Ringgit Approaches Two-Week High on Economic Growth Prospects

Oct. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia’s ringgit climbed, approaching a two-week high, on optimism Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy can weather a global slowdown.

Gross domestic product will see “good growth” in the third and fourth quarters, and full-year expansion will be about 5 percent, central bank Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz said in an Oct. 14 interview in Tokyo. GDP increased 5.1 percent in 2011. U.S. retail sales rose 1.1 percent in September after a revised 1.2 percent increase in August, the best back-to-back showing since late 2010, according to a government report yesterday.

“We are quite positive on Malaysia’s economy, especially in terms of domestic demand,” said Saktiandi Supaat, head of foreign-exchange research at Malayan Banking Bhd. in Singapore. “There’s a bit of risk appetite. U.S. retail sales were better than expected.”

The ringgit advanced 0.3 percent to 3.0512 per dollar as of 4:16 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It touched 3.0444 on Oct. 5, the strongest level since Sept. 18. One-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, declined 37 basis points to 6.30 percent.

Government bonds were steady. The yield on the 3.492 percent notes due March 2020 held at 3.43 percent, according to Bursa Malaysia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Liau Y-Sing in Kuala Lumpur at yliau@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net

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