Ringgit closes lower on profit-taking

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit weakened against the US dollar at the close of trading today due to some profit-taking given the rapid pace in appreciation of the local note of late, said an analyst.

At 6 pm, the local note was traded easier to 4.4155/4210 versus the greenback compared with Tuesday's closing rate of 4.3990/4030.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) growth and inflation projection was very much in line with the Finance Ministry's estimates as it unveiled its annual report for 2022 today.

"They (BNM) are quite sanguine on the domestic economy with full employment having been achieved. Plus, investment activities are expected to remain healthy given the implementation of infrastructure projects.

"China’s reopening also could boost our economy via tourism related industries. In that sense, I think another 25 basis points hike in Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) could happen at some point this year,” he told Bernama.

Afzanizam said should the OPR rate hike happen, that could help alleviate the ringgit especially when the US Federal Reserve (Fed) is expected to hit its terminal rate quite soon.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded lower against a basket of major currencies except versus the Japanese yen where it appreciated to 3.3524/3569 from 3.3606/3642 at Tuesday's closing.

The local note fell against the British pound to 5.4531/4599 from 5.4046/4095 and eased vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7943/8003 from 4.7580/7623 yesterday.

At the same time, the ringgit was traded lower against Asean currencies.

It dropped against the Singapore dollar at 3.3219/3263 compared with 3.3100/3135 yesterday, and narrowed vis-a-vis the Philippine peso to 8.11/8.12 from 8.07/8.09 previously.

The local note declined against the Thai baht to 12.9267/9485 from 12.8288/8457 and slipped against the Indonesian rupiah to 293.20/293.70 from 291.60/291.90 yesterday. - Bernama

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