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Ringgit Snaps Two-Day Loss as Economic Growth Seen Quickening

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Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia’s ringgit climbed, halting a two-day loss, before government data today that is forecast to show economic growth accelerated. Bonds were little changed.

Gross domestic product rose 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with 5.2 percent in the prior three months, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before figures at 6 p.m. Consumer prices climbed 1.3 percent in January, more than the 1.2 percent predicted in a separate survey and the fastest pace since November, the statistics department reported today. German investor confidence climbed to the highest level in almost three years, data showed yesterday.

“The Malaysian currency is stronger because people are expecting better GDP numbers,” said Yeo Chin Tiong, head of financial markets at Alliance Bank Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. “Asian currencies are firmer because of the good data from Germany.”

The ringgit appreciated 0.4 percent to 3.0970 per dollar as of 5:11 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, after losing 1 percent in the first two days of the week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency touched 3.0915 earlier, near the 3.0780 level reached last week that was the strongest since Jan. 31.

One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in the exchange rate used to price options, fell 12 basis points, or 0.12 percentage point, to 7.18 percent.

The yield on the 3.418 percent government bonds due August 2022 held at 3.48 percent, according to Bursa Malaysia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elffie Chew in Kuala Lumpur at echew16@bloomberg.net.

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

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