Malaysia’s ringgit gained the most since September 2013 and the benchmark stock index headed for the highest close in two months as a rally in the price of oil eased concern the nation’s finances will deteriorate.
The currency climbed 2.1 percent from Jan. 30 to 3.5555 a dollar as of 11:48 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur as markets reopened after holidays on Monday and Tuesday, according to prices from local banks. Brent crude jumped 5.8 percent on Tuesday and has increased almost 19 percent in five days to $57.40 a barrel.
The price of the commodity had fallen to as low as $45.19 on Jan. 13, the least since 2009, causing the government to revise its 2015 fiscal deficit target to 3.2 percent of gross domestic product from 3 percent. Prime Minister Najib Razak has reduced this year’s growth forecast to 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent from as much as 6 percent. Malaysia is Asia’s only major net exporter of oil.