Ringgit ends firmer against US dollar

Ringgit ends firmer against US dollar
Ringgit ends firmer against US dollar

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - The ringgit ended the week on a better footing against the US dollar, likely due to the lower-than-expected first quarter US gross domestic product data.  — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — The ringgit ended the week on a better footing against the US dollar, likely due to the lower-than-expected first quarter US gross domestic product (GDP) data.

At 6pm, the ringgit improved to 4.7650/7710 against the greenback from yesterday’s close of 4.7745/7775.

SPI Asset Management managing director Stephen Innes said the firmer ringgit may also be attributable to the local note’s oversold condition, higher energy prices and a relatively stable domestic risk environment.

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The US economy posted 1.6 per cent growth in the first quarter versus a consensus forecast of 2.5 per cent. The overnight US data also revealed higher-than-expected inflation alongside the weaker-than-anticipated growth, triggering a sell-off in risk assets and a spike in US Treasury yields.

“This scenario typically spells trouble for the ringgit. However, the ringgit experienced a relatively uneventful day and actually closed a touch stronger,” he told Bernama.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid reckons the lower-than-expected US GDP data could have reignited hopes for an interest rate cut in the United States.

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The ringgit traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

It rose vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.9644/9719 from 5.9748/9786 yesterday, went higher versus the Japanese yen to 3.0408/0451 from 3.0677/0698 and improved against the euro to 5.1157/1221 from 5.1211/1243 previously.

The ringgit also traded mostly higher against Asean currencies.

It appreciated versus the Thai baht to 12.8902/9120 against 12.8939/9087 from yesterday’s close and was flat versus the Philippine peso at 8.26/8.27. The local note edged up vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 293.9/294.4 from 294.9/295.2 and increased against the Singapore dollar to 3.5021/5068 from 3.5120/5144. — Bernama

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