- Korean won leads currency rally as ringgit halts four-day drop
- Energy, raw material shares advance as commodity prices rise
Emerging-market currencies rose for a second day as a rally in crude oil spurred demand for higher-yielding assets.
South Korea’s won led gains, while Malaysia’s ringgit halted a four-day slump. China’s yuan held a two-day advance. Shares in energy and raw material companies were the best performers in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index of stocks. Brent crude climbed for the third time in four days after the World Bank raised its forecast for oil prices. Analysts predict the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee will keep interest rates on hold Wednesday to help encourage growth in the world’s largest economy.
“Oil prices are higher and that is supporting the risk sentiment in markets,” said Roy Teo, a senior currency strategist in Singapore at ABN Amro Bank NV. “The Chinese yuan is a bit firmer and that is also supporting the Asian currencies. Equity markets are not sliding and there is some positioning ahead of the FOMC meeting tonight.”
The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index added 0.1 percent as of 11:40 a.m. in Hong Kong, extending this year’s advance to 4.2 percent. The won strengthened 0.4 percent to 1,146.79 per dollar, set for the biggest gain since April 19. The ringgit appreciated 0.1 percent to 3.9275 versus the greenback after dropping 1.4 percent in the previous four days.
The MSCI Emerging Markets Index of equities was little changed, with a gauge of energy shares rising 0.5 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index was also little changed after jumping 0.6 percent on Tuesday.