Ringgit gains momentum to end higher versus US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit recovered some of its losses against the US dollar to end the week on a firmer note although the United States Federal Reserve (Fed) will continue its interest rate hike campaign throughout the year, said an analyst.

At 6 pm, the local currency strengthened by 175 basis points (bps) to 4.3775/3800 versus the greenback from Thursday's close of 4.3950/3990.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said while the US central bank is expected to be aggressive in its monetary tightening cycle, the US Dollar Index (DXY) had somewhat lost steam as its level had been at an overbought position for a longer time.

Meanwhile, SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said that risk sentiment continued to hold up remarkably well and with the backdrop of the US dollar's weakness in general, Asian currencies including the ringgit had performed well into the weekend.

"Oil prices look set to move higher given the Russian shortfall, hence, the ringgit also received a bounce from higher oil prices,” he told Bernama.

The ringgit was traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

The local note climbed against the Singapore dollar to 3.1962/1982 from Thursday’s close of 3.1987/2018, rose versus the British pound to 5.5170/5201 from 5.5377/5427, increased against the euro to 4.6905/6932 from 4.7079/7122, and appreciated vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.4450/4472 from 3.4677/4712 previously. - Bernama

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