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Ringgit rises as oil rebound boosts sentiment as Brexit dims
[KUALAS LUMPUR] Malaysia's ringgit rose, set for the biggest advance in almost two weeks after energy prices rebounded and a poll showing Britons favor remaining in the European Union boosted demand for riskier assets.
Brent crude extended gains after halting a six-day loss on Friday, auguring well for Malaysia, which derives about a fifth of government revenue from oil-related sources.
A poll from Survation for the Mail on Sunday newspaper ahead of a June 23 referendum indicated 45 per cent support for the UK to stay in the EU, while 42 per cent prefer to leave.
"The ringgit is benefiting from improved risk sentiment following recent Brexit surveys showing a slight lead for the 'Remain' camp," said Khoon Goh, a senior foreign-exchange strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd in Singapore.
"A stronger performance for oil prices on Friday also helped push the ringgit stronger at the open."
The ringgit climbed 0.5 per cent to 4.0798 per dollar as of 9:15 am in Kuala Lumpur, the biggest advance since June 7 on a closing basis, according to prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg.
It's still Asia's worst-performing currency this quarter with a 4.4 per cent loss.
Malaysia's ruling Barisan Nasional coalition won two by-elections on Saturday with bigger majorities, strengthening Prime Minister Najib Razak's grip on power after months of battling accusations of economic mismanagement from critics including former premier Mahathir Mohamad.