Ringgit Strengthens for Third Day as Exports Beat Forecasts

Malaysia’s ringgit climbed for a third day as data released today showed exports rose by more than analysts forecast in November. Government bonds declined.

The currency traded near an 11-week high after overseas sales increased 3.3 percent in November from a year earlier. That was the most since June and more than the 2.3 percent increase estimated in a Bloomberg survey. Malaysian two-way trade will grow 5 percent this year, compared with 4 percent in 2012, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed was quoted as saying in a Jan. 7 Bernama report.

The ringgit strengthened 0.1 percent to 3.0398 per dollar as of 4:11 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It touched 3.0365, near the 3.0296 level reached on Jan. 3, which was the strongest since Oct. 18. One-month implied volatility, a measure of expected moves in exchange rates used to price options, fell 38 basis points to 4.84 percent.

“The pace of export growth will be mildly positive in the next few months,” Choong Yin Pheng, senior manager for fixed income and economic research at Hong Leong Bank Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur, said before the export numbers were released. “I’m still looking at the ringgit to trade at the 3.03 to 3.06 level in the first quarter.”

Industrial production will increase 5.9 percent in November, the most since May, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey before data due tomorrow.

The yield on the 3.314 percent government bonds due October 2017 climbed one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 3.27 percent, according to Bursa Malaysia.

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