Ringgit gains as jobs report keeps USD on back foot

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 9): Ringgit climbs as disappointing U.S. jobs data backed the case for the Federal Reserve to hold off from tightening policy aggressively.

* USD/MYR falls 0.2% to 3.8630

** Support 3.8465, 3.8000, 3.7310; resistance 3.9016, 3.9290, 3.9313

** Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index steady after dropping 0.2% Friday

* Regional FX will remain focused on the China-U.S. trade spat with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech at the Boao Forum expected to garner attention, says Ken Cheung, Asian currency strategist at Mizuho Bank Ltd. in Hong Kong

** Other events on investors’ radar include policy reviews by Bank of Korea and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, with a close call for the latter between maintaining accommodation and resuming modest tightening

* 10-year govt bond yield ended unchanged at 3.96% Friday

* Foreign holdings of Malaysian government and corporate bonds, and bills rose 1.4% in March to RM210.1b from the previous month: central bank data

* Foreign-exchange reserves rose 3.8% to $107.8b in the final two weeks of March: central bank data

* Malaysia’s parliament was dissolved Saturday, paving the way for the general election to take place within the next two months

* Former premier Mahathir Mohamad, who’s leading the opposition’s charge, will fight an order that has temporarily banned his party from campaigning

* Domestic private consumption has historically increased around the time of Malaysian elections and should be supportive of Morgan Stanley’s long MYR position, strategists including James Lord wrote in note Friday

** Until the conclusion of the election, co will remain buyers of MYR against INR