Fund inflows to set ringgit on uptrend against greenback

KUALA LUMPUR: The recent inflow of funds into the country is expected to set the ringgit on an uptrend against the US dollar this year.

Affin Hwang Asset Management Bhd managing director Teng Chee Wai said he was bullish over the ringgit’s performance with the country’s improving economic fundamentals and as Bank Negara’s reserves continue to rise.

“It will take a while for the ringgit to touch between 4.20 and 4.25. With our trade surplus contributing to the local unit’s appreciation, investor confidence at some point will return and make it more sustainable,” he added.

Teng said this during his presentation at the Affin Hwang Asset Management Investment Forum 2017 on “What Trump’s presidency means for Asian and Malaysian Markets?” here on Saturday.

He said currently, the ringgit’s movement is still tentative and to reach 4.25, Bank Negara would need to replenish money lost over the past few months.

He said only then, would Bank Negara allow the ringgit to appreciate, with more inflows coming into the country and the market starting to see earnings follow.

“Unless something big happens like an election result, then the ringgit may be impacted,” he added.

In his presentation, Teng said Asia’s markets have been catching up well this year, compared to the time when China was having an economic slowdown and Trump winning the US presidency, which saw the greenback rally.

“Most things are reversing themselves now and we are seeing various asset classes in Asia doing well,” he added.

Meanwhile, at a separate session, Deutsche Bank’s Asia FX Research, Global Markets strategist Mallika Sachdeva said the ringgit would not be weakening any further, having gone through its worst performance.

“It will also not strengthen so much this year in needing time to recover, provided trends over the past few weeks continue, and the economic environment is stable,” she added. – Bernama

ringgit , affin