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Ringgit easier against US dollar at closing

Publish date: Tue, 16 Apr 2024, 07:54 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (April 16): The ringgit continued its downtrend on Tuesday to end lower against the greenback, due to continued positive sentiment for the US dollar, which was bolstered by strong US retail sales data in March, amid concerns over tension in the Middle East, said an analyst. 

At 6pm, the ringgit had fallen to 4.7945/7970 against the US dollar, from Monday’s closing at 4.7785/7815.

US retail sales rose 0.7% in March to US$709.6 billion (RM3.4 trillion), after February’s increase was revised to 0.9%.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the strong US retail sales data suggested that US rate cut anticipation had diminished.

“This certainly has led to higher demand for the US dollar, which saw the US dollar index rise 0.16% to 106.373 points,” he told Bernama.

He also noted that concerns over tension in the Middle East would exert pressure on emerging-market currencies, as demand for safe haven currencies such as the US dollar gets higher.

“A combination of strong US economic data and market-moving events are the key factors driving the currency market at the moment,” he added. 

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

It shed against the euro to 5.0966/0992 from 5.0915/0947 at Monday’s close, weakened versus the British pound to 5.9701/9732 from 5.9660/9697, but was better vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1020/1038 from 3.1053/1075.

However, the ringgit was traded mixed against Asean currencies.

It was lower versus the Thai baht at 13.0858/13.0983, compared with 13.0148/13.0286 at Monday’s close, depreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.5135/5156 from 3.5123/5148, but was flat versus the Philippine peso at 8.41/8.42, and stronger vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 296.3/296.6 from 301.4/301.8 previously.

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