Ringgit Trades Near One-Month Low on Stalling U.S. Budget Talks

Malaysia’s ringgit traded near a one-month low as signs U.S. budget talks are stalling weakened demand for emerging-market assets. Government bonds advanced.

President Barack Obama on Dec. 21 called for an interim bill to prevent tax increases for middle-income Americans while a solution is sought to avert more than $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and higher taxes. Malaysian exports fell for the third time in four months in October, government data showed this month, and the economy is officially forecast to grow 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent next year.

“There are a lot of concerns about the fiscal cliff,” said Nizam Idris, head of Asian fixed-income and foreign-exchange strategy at Macquarie Bank Ltd. in Singapore. “It’s not an exciting economic growth trajectory for Malaysia.”

The ringgit traded at 3.0650 per dollar as of 4:07 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, compared with its close of 3.0645 on Dec. 21, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency earlier touched 3.0734, the weakest since Nov. 19, and has gained 3.4 percent this year. One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in exchange rates used to price options, was little changed at 4.42 percent.

The yield on the 3.492 percent notes due March 2020 fell one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 3.45 percent, according to Bursa Malaysia.

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