Ringgit ends higher versus US dollar, regional peers

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit ended higher against the US dollar today as a higher-than-expected Consumer Price Index (CPI) print for May suggests that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) may keep the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) steady, supporting the local currency, said an analyst.

At 6 pm, the ringgit traded at 4.7035/7070 versus the greenback compared with Monday’s close of 4.7110/7150.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said that Malaysia's latest CPI data for May at 2.00 per cent is higher than consensus estimates. This may suggest that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) might be inclined to keep the OPR steady.

"Malaysia’s inflation rate has risen from just 1.5 per cent in January 2024 to 2.0 per cent in May. BNM may be keen to maintain the OPR at 3.00 per cent throughout the year to sustain the current monetary stance and control inflation.

"This comes at a time when developed economies have begun their monetary easing cycle. A series of policy changes are expected to impact the inflation rate, moving forward,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, the ringgit closed mostly lower against a basket of major currencies.

It depreciated against the Japanese yen to 2.9513/9537 from yesterday's close of 2.9508/9535, fell vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.9687/9732 from 5.9679/9730, and improved versus the euro to 5.0440/0478 from 5.0511/0554.

The ringgit was also higher against its ASEAN peers.

It rose versus the Thai baht to 12.8294/8431 from 12.8383/8541 at Monday’s close, appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.4763/4792 from 3.4811/4843, gained vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 287.1/287.5 from 287.3/287.7, and increased against the Philippine peso to 8.00/8.01 from 8.01/8.02 previously. - Bernama

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