Malaysia’s ringgit dropped the most among Asian currencies as U.S. retail sales figures topped estimates, bolstering the case for the Federal Reserve’s stimulus cuts.
The currency posted the biggest decline since November after U.S. high street sales rose 0.2 percent last month, official data showed yesterday, beating the 0.1 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. The World Bank raised its 2014 global growth forecast to 3.2 percent from a June prediction of 3 percent, saying developed economies will boost exports in emerging markets.
“Asian currencies are weaker because of the stronger retail sales data,” said Wong Chee Seng, a currency strategist at AmBank Group in Kuala Lumpur. “The ringgit is falling more because investors tend to favor the greenback ahead of holidays,” he said, referring to Malaysia’s market closures on Jan. 17.
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