Ringgit continues to appreciate vs USD at close

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit ended the week on a positive note, closing higher against the US dollar for the third consecutive session, boosted by positive sentiments on the advance estimates for Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) that came in better than expected, said an analyst.

At 6 pm, the ringgit strengthened to 4.7810/7855 against the greenback from Thursday’s closing of 4.7840/7870.

The Department of Statistics Malaysia said Malaysia's economy is forecast to have grown by 3.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2024 (1Q 2024) based on advance estimates, compared to 3.0 per cent in 4Q 2023, driven by the services sector.

According to Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid, the advance estimate for Malaysia’s GDP growth suggests that the economy remains steady despite the higher cost of living.

"However, the latest news on Israel's retaliation will keep the sentiment weak which could result in higher demand for the US dollar,” he told Bernama.

At the close, the ringgit was traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

It rose against the euro to 5.0961/1009 from 5.1050/1082 at Thursday’s close, expanded vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.0947/0978 from 3.0980/1002 yesterday and appreciated versus the British pound to 5.9533/9589 from 5.9671/9708 previously.

The local note was also traded higher against ASEAN currencies.

It edged up versus the Thai baht to 12.9668/9847 compared with 13.0053/0188 at Thursday’s close and climbed against the Singapore dollar to 3.5113/5149 from 3.5176/5201 yesterday.

The ringgit was also better versus the Philippines’ peso at 8.30/8.31 compared to 8.36/8.37 on Thursday and rose vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 293.9/294.4 from 295.6/296.0 previously. - Bernama

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