KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit is expected to trade in a tight range this week with all eyes on the overnight policy rate (OPR) review.
Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the statement from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) should be closely watched especially on how the central bank sees the economy post-automatic moratorium period, which will expire at month-end.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting is scheduled on Thursday, Sept 10 with a number of analysts expecting a 25-basis point cut in the OPR.
"Recent data points have been quite mixed. We saw July export better than expected when it grew 3.1 per cent but August Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell below 50-point demarcation line," he told Bernama.
Malaysia’s exports increased 3.1 per cent year-on-year in July, albeit at a slower rate than June’s 8.0 per cent.
In terms of value, it was the second highest at RM92.5 billion, after the record high in 2018, compared with June’s RM82.8 billion, signalling that the economy is gradually recovering from the second-quarter economic slump, said Kenanga Research.
In the second quarter, the economy contracted by 17.1 per cent from a marginal growth of 0.7 per cent registered in the first quarter.
The headline IHS Markit Malaysia PMI - a composite single-figure indicator of the manufacturing performance - dipped to 49.3 in August from 50.0 in July.
The IHS Markit said manufacturing production was stable in August, but lost some of the momentum seen during the initial rebound from the lockdown and the latest reading followed a joint-record expansion in June and further growth in July.
On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the ringgit strengthened against the US dollar at 4.1470/1520 from 4.1630/1680 in the previous week.
It hit 4.1400 level, the highest range in seven months, on Tuesday after a three-day weekend due to the National Day celebration on Monday.
The ringgit also traded higher against the Singapore dollar to 3.0410/0458 from 3.0581/0629 last Friday and rose versus the yen to 3.9393/9444 compared with 3.9561/9583.
The local unit climbed vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.5143/5213 from 5.5251/5322 and appreciated against the euro to 4.9150/9214 from 4.9486/9562 previously. - Bernama
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