The Malaysian ringgit’s foreign exchange rate rose on signs the US recovery is taking hold, brightening the outlook for exports from Southeast Asia’s third biggest economy.
Sales of previously owned US houses climbed 0.9 percent last month, the most since May 2010, according to the median forecast of economists in a survey before a report from the National Association of Realtors due today.
The US was Malaysia’s fourth-largest export market in January, according to official data. The Malaysian central bank is due to release its 2012 economic growth forecast at 6 p.m. local time.
“Malaysia is still relatively strong and growth is reasonably solid,” said Thomas Harr, head of Asian currency strategy at Standard Chartered Plc in Singapore. “If the U.S. recovery takes hold, that should benefit exports and be good for the ringgit.”
The ringgit gained 0.1 percent to 3.093 per dollar as of 4:13 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, according to data. One-month implied volatility, a measure of exchange- rate swings used to price options, held steady at 7.80 percent.
Malaysia’s economy grew 5.1 percent in 2011 after expanding 7.2 percent a year earlier. Gross domestic product will rise from 5 percent to 6 percent in 2012, according to the government’s annual economic report released in October.