Ringgit firmer in early trade

 |May 15, 2017

The ringgit appreciated against the US dollar, in early trade today, spurred by fresh buying interest for the local note amid THE weaker greenback, said dealers.

At 9am, the local note was quoted at 4.3330/3360 against the US dollar from 4.3440/3470 at 6pm on Friday.

A dealer said the US dollar closed lower last week pressured by weaker-than-expected economic data, raising concerns among investors that the US central bank would less likely raise  interest rates next month as expected.

Stable oil prices, which saw the benchmark Brent crude settle seven cents higher at US$50.84 per barrel in the US market on Friday, has also helped support sentiment in the local market.

On the local front, anticipation of bullish first quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers, to be announced on May 19,¬† has brought positive vibes to investors’ appetite.

“We anticipate the first quarter GDP figure to exceed five per cent for Malaysia, which would be above our annual average growth projection for 2017 of 4.9 per cent.

“With the nation’s trade data performance also moving up coupled with a recovery in energy prices, we expect the ringgit to be well supported (this week), ” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly higher against other major currencies.

It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0853/0879 from 3.0859/0900 ast Friday, strengthened versus the Japanese yen to 3.8200/8243 from 3.8213/8246 and firmer against the British pound at 5.5826/5891 from 5.5859/5902, previously.

However, the local unit depreciated vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7338/7375 from Friday’s 4.7232/7269. – Bernama