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Ringgit Trades Near One-Week High on U.S. Budget Pact Optimism

Malaysia’s ringgit traded near a one-week high as signs U.S. policy makers will reach agreement on budget revisions boosted demand for riskier assets.

House Speaker John Boehner said there will be a vote this week on a budget that would raise tax rates on income of more than $1 million a year, an attempt to avert more than $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases. Standard & Poor’s raised Greece’s credit rating yesterday from selective default to B- with a stable outlook.

“People are getting more optimistic that the U.S. will find a solution to the fiscal cliff issue,” said Vishnu Varathan, a Singapore-based economist at Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd. “Greece’s upgrade boosted sentiment.”

The ringgit was at 3.0535 per dollar as of 4:22 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, compared with 3.0536 yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It earlier touched 3.0460, near the 3.0417 level reached on Dec. 13 that was the strongest since Dec. 6. One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in exchange rates used to price options, rose 10 basis points, or 0.10 percentage point, to 4.40 percent.

Government bonds were steady before the release of inflation data today. Consumer prices probably rose 1.4 percent in November from a year earlier, compared with 1.3 percent in October, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

The yield on the 3.492 percent notes due March 2020 was at 3.48 percent, according to Bursa Malaysia.

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