Ringgit Forwards Decline as Goldman Isolated in Seeing Rate Cut

  • All other economists expect no change Wednesday in 3.25% rate
  • Malaysia bonds rise as Chinese data watched for global health

One-month ringgit forwards fell for the first time in five days before Bank Negara Malaysia’s policy review on Wednesday, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. alone among economists in expecting an interest-rate cut.

Governor Muhammad Ibrahim will keep the benchmark rate at 3.25 percent for a 12th straight meeting, according to 17 other analysts surveyed by Bloomberg ahead of the 3 p.m. announcement. The ringgit also dropped in the spot market as a decline in crude prices dimmed the outlook for the oil exporter’s finances. Pending Chinese data will also be watched to gauge the health of the world’s second-biggest economy amid the global uncertainty caused by Britain’s vote to exit the European Union in a non-binding referendum.

“I’m thinking that Bank Negara will remain on hold through year-end,” said Stephen Innes, a senior trader at Oanda Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. in Singapore. “They’re probably going to wait until the Brexit theme plays out and they’ve got a clear picture. The signals aren’t pointing to a rebound in China’s economy yet.”

The non-deliverable forwards dropped 0.5 percent to 3.9873 per dollar as of 9:55 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The spot rate fell 0.2 percent to 3.9870, ending a two-day gain.

Current policy is accommodative, Bank Negara said in a statement after the May 19 policy review, noting a weak external environment. Goldman expects the central bank to lower the policy rate on Wednesday to cushion any impact from Brexit, while Macquarie Bank Ltd. and Standard Chartered Plc say it’s more likely to act in September to avoid stoking more volatility.

Government bonds rose. The three-year yield fell two basis points to 3.03 percent, according to prices from Bursa Malaysia. The yield on 10-year notes dropped two basis points to 3.68 percent.

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