KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit depreciated by 0.2 per cent versus the US dollar in the third quarter (3Q 2023), along with other regional currencies, amid the broad strength of the greenback, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said.
However, the ringgit appreciated by 1.4 per cent against a basket of major trading partner currencies in the third quarter, as indicated by the ringgit nominal effective exchange rate (NEER).
"Domestic financial conditions were driven mainly by evolving expectations over the global monetary policy path.
"In particular, the strength of the US job markets has prompted expectations for a tighter-for-longer policy stance by the US Federal Reserve and subsequently higher US and global interest rates.
"In contrast, the People's Bank of China undertook further monetary policy easing to address weaker-than-expected growth in China, which dampened investor sentiments towards the region," BNM governor Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour said during the third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) announcement here today.
Meanwhile, he said the growth in credit to the private non-financial sector improved to 4.2 per cent in 3Q (2Q 2023: 3.7 per cent), supported by higher growth in business loans (1.6 per cent; 2Q 2023: 0.5 per cent) while outstanding corporate bonds growth was sustained at 5.0 per cent (2Q 2023: 4.9 per cent).
The higher business loan growth was driven mainly by improving growth in working capital loans to non-small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
"Of note, SME loan growth remained forthcoming (6.7 per cent; 2Q 2023: 6.4 per cent). For households, outstanding loans expanded by 5.4 per cent (2Q 2023: 5.1 per cent), reflecting steady growth across key purposes," he said. - Bernama