Ringgit forwards were headed for a fifth weekly decline, the longest run of losses in a year, on speculation the Federal Reserve will pare its monetary stimulus as the U.S. economy recovers. Malaysian government bonds fell.
The cost of insuring Malaysia’s sovereign bonds rose to a four-month high on speculation overseas investors will trim holdings of the nation’s debt should the Federal Reserve reduce stimulus. The ringgit fell.
Malayan Banking Bhd., Malaysia’s biggest lender, said profit increased 12 percent to a record in the first quarter as domestic spending and investment spurred demand for credit in the Southeast Asian nation. Net income climbed to 1.51 billion ringgit ($495 million), or 17.87 sen per share, in the three months ended March 31 from 1.35 billion ringgit, or 17.63 sen, a year earlier, according to a stock exchange filing today.
Asian stocks rose, led by mining companies, after faster-than-forecast U.S. employment growth bolstered optimism in the world’s largest economy, pushing a regional equities gauge toward a ten-week high.
The tiny Persian Gulf nation of Qatar controls vast gas and oil deposits that feed billions of dollars annually into the state Treasury. Its petroleum riches make it the wealthiest nation per capita in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak stocked his Cabinet with party stalwarts ahead of a leadership test after a poor showing by his coalition’s ethnic Chinese partners led to its narrowest election win since independence.
Hong Kong stocks rose, with the city’s benchmark index heading toward the highest close since February, as HSBC Holdings Plc led banks higher after beating earnings estimates and Chinese exports accelerated.