Ringgit, Korean Won Rise for Third Day as Oil Spurs Yield Demand

The Malaysian ringgit and South Korea’s won and strengthened for a third day as Brent crude traded near the highest in a year and Asian stocks advanced, boosting demand for higher-yielding assets.

The ringgit and won paced gains in emerging-market currencies as the third and final U.S. presidential debate got underway with polls showing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton before next month’s election. Brent crude jumped 1.9 percent Wednesday after reaching a one-year high last week. U.S. bank shares gained Wednesday amid better-than forecast earnings.

“Oil is being supported, along with equities and emerging-market assets,” said Vishnu Varathan, a senior economist at Mizuho Bank Ltd. in Singapore. “With U.S. earnings less dismal and Trump seen to be slipping in the polls, Asian currencies are having a moment in the sun.”

The ringgit jumped 0.3 percent to 4.1760 per dollar as of 9:13 a.m. in Hong Kong. The won rose 0.1 percent to 1,121.82 per dollar after appreciating to 1,118.80, the strongest level since Oct. 11. The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index gained 0.1 percent.

“The rise in equities and crude oil has stoked risk appetite," Ha Keon-hyeong, an economist at Shinhan Investment Corp in Seoul, wrote in a note to clients. “With Clinton leading the polls, the impact of today’s debate could be somewhat limited unless an unpredictable event happens.”

South Korean bonds were little changed with yields on three-year notes at 1.35 percent and the 10-year securities at 1.62 percent.

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