Ringgit gets early Christmas gift, bounces to RM4.62 against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit got an early Christmas gift and bounced against the US dollar on Friday as a downward revision of third-quarter US economic growth and Malaysia’s lowest inflation rate in almost three years lifted the local note.

The jump against the greenback also came ahead of important US inflation data later tonight, a signal that expectation of an early rate cut by the US Federal Reserve (Fed) is still on the cards.

At 6 pm, the ringgit bounced to 4.6265/6305 against the US dollar from Thursday’s close of 4.6525/6565.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, decreased 0.56 per cent to 101.8449 in late trading.

US gross domestic product (GDP) grew at 4.9 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis in the third quarter, lower than the 5.2 per cent of an earlier estimate, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis said on Thursday.

A weakening US economy would strengthen the case for an earlier interest rate cut by the Fed.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the ringgit performed favourably against the US dollar and remained steady at around RM4.63 today.

"Malaysia’s consumer price index (CPI) for November also came in lower than expected at 1.5 per cent,” he told Bernama. The November CPI is the lowest in almost three years.

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

It appreciated against the British pound to 5.8720/8770 from 5.8766/8816 at Thursday’s close and rose vis-a-vis the euro to 5.0915/0959 from 5.0922/0965 previously. However, the local currency was slightly lower against the Japanese yen at 3.2547/2579 from 3.2519/2549 yesterday.

It traded mixed against other Asean currencies.

The ringgit rose against the Philippine peso to 8.35/8.36 from 8.37/8.38 and was marginally higher versus the Singapore dollar at 3.4933/4968.

However, the ringgit declined against the Thai baht to 13.3509/3706 from 13.3443/3631 and was almost flat against the Indonesian rupiah at 298.7/299.1 from 299.6/300.0 yesterday. - Bernama

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