Malaysia’s Ringgit Touches a One-Week High on Economic Optimism

Malaysia’s ringgit climbed to a one-week high on speculation data due next week will show the nation’s economy expanded faster than the government estimated.

Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah said last week that growth in 2012 probably exceeded an official forecast of as much as 5 percent. The nation is scheduled to release gross domestic product data on Feb. 20. Trade Minister Mustapa Mohamed reiterated on Feb. 8 a separate projection for GDP to rise 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent this year.

“Fundamentals remain strong in Malaysia and this could continue in 2013,” said Wee-Khoon Chong, a strategist at Societe Generale SA in Hong Kong. “The ringgit will likely trade in a tight range for the rest of the week and could test the 3 per dollar level by the end of the year.”

The ringgit strengthened 0.3 percent to 3.0904 per dollar as of 4:50 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur from the Feb. 8 close of 3.1005, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The currency touched 3.0900, the strongest since Feb. 6. The market was shut for the first two days of the week for the Lunar New Year holiday.

One-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange-rate swings used to price options, was steady at 7.50 percent.

Government bonds were unchanged with the yield on the 3.418 percent notes maturing in August 2022 holding at 3.47 percent, according to Bursa Malaysia.

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