Ringgit lower against US dollar at the close

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit ended lower against the US dollar today on mild profit-taking following recent gains and investor disappointment with China’s macroeconomic targets set during its National People’s Congress (NPC).

At 6 pm, the ringgit slipped to 4.7325/7380 against the greenback compared with Monday's close of 4.7200/7250.

China Premier Li Qiang said today that China expects its gross domestic product (GDP) to record a 5.0 per cent growth in 2024, lower than the 5.2 per cent achieved in 2023 amid a sluggish global economic environment.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid noted that investors appear to see China’s GDP target as being on the high side, especially when property developers are still grappling with the sector’s doldrums.

He said some profit-taking may have occurred after the ringgit strengthened against the greenback since last week.

"All in all, investors remain bullish on the US dollar as the US Federal Reserve is not about to change their restrictive stance,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, he said Japan’s Tokyo Consumer Price Index was higher than expected at 2.5 per cent in February from 1.8 per cent in the previous month, and this supports a monetary tightening by the Bank Of Japan (BOJ) this year.

"As such, the Japanese yen appreciated against the US dollar to 150.39 yen. Some economists project that the BOJ might exit the negative interest rate policy by April this year.”

Back home, the ringgit was traded lower against a basket of major currencies.

The local currency fell against the British pound to 6.0027/0097 from Monday’s close of 5.9840/9904, weakened versus the euro to 5.1348/1407 from 5.1198/1252, and declined vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1466/1505 from 3.1410/1445 previously.

The ringgit traded weaker against other Asean currencies.

It was easier versus the Thai baht at 13.2119/2320 from 13.1766/1965 yesterday and slid against the Singapore dollar to 3.5209/5253 compared to 3.5137/5177.

The ringgit also depreciated vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 300.0/300.5 from 299.7/300.2 and inched down against the Philippine peso at 8.45/8.47 from 8.43/8.44 previously. - Bernama

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Mohd Afzanizam , Ringgit , US dollar , China


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