KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit extended its downtrend against the US dollar today as demand for the greenback continued to surge due to positive readings on the United States (US) economic health, said an analyst.
At 9 am, the local currency dipped to a 67-month low of 4.4795/4820 against the greenback from Thursday’s close of 4.4720/4750.
ActivTrades trader Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz said the US dollar strengthened after the announcement of better-than-expected US Initial Jobless Claims data, which showed that the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits dipped to 250,000 versus the forecast of 265,000.
"Despite the recent flow of positive data which painted a positive picture for the US economy, the US Federal Reserve’s meeting minutes released yesterday seemed to suggest that the US central bank is still not looking into slowing down the pace of interest rate hikes.
"This highlights the possibility of further appreciation of the US dollar against other currencies and against ringgit,” he told Bernama.
He noted that the US dollar/ringgit pairing could very well hit the 4.5000 mark.
"However, if the price manages to break below 4.4550, it could drop to 4.4000 within a few days,” Diniz added.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded better against a basket of major currencies.
It gained against the Singapore dollar to 3.2299/2321 from 3.2371/2397 at Thursday’s close, and improved against the euro at 4.5153/5179 from 4.5471/5502 previously.
The local unit also increased vis-a-vis the Japanese yen at 3.2877/3298 from 3.3077/3102 yesterday, and rose against the British pound to 5.3351/3381 from 5.3959/3995 on Thursday. - Bernama