Ringgit near six-month high as funds buy stocks

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 19): Malaysia’s ringgit trades near the strongest since August, after the biggest one-day inflow into local equities in a month.

* USD/MYR is little changed at 4.0758 after dropping to 4.0615 on Feb 25, lowest since Aug 1; support 4.0550, 4.0435, 4.0083; resistance 4.0950, 4.1045, 4.1355.

* Overseas investors bought US$20m of Malaysian shares Monday, paring this month’s outflows to US$342.5m

* USD/MYR is likely to trade between 4.0700-4.0880 Tuesday, with the dollar expected to be supported by Monday’s decline in the pound, MUFG Bank analyst Sophia Ng writes in note.

** Malaysia’s January industrial production data beat estimates, but exports face risks as shipments across Asia are sluggish and semiconductor sales are weakening.

* Morgan Stanley says it has turned bullish on the ringgit, and recommends going long MYR/TWD, as part of its call that EMFX are poised to rally

* Malaysia’s 10-year bond yield falls 1bp to 3.85%.

* Govt will auction 2b ringgit of 30-year bonds on Thursday.

* Govt is weighing several options to monetize assets to pare debt, including listing mature state entities, PM Mahathir Mohamad says on Tuesday.
** Fiscal consolidation target is on track and authorities won’t impose a new tax this year.