by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE
KUALA LUMPUR – The ringgit remained strong against the US dollar for the third consecutive day today as the greenback continued to weaken despite the bullish United States (US) retail data, an analyst said.
At 9 am, the local currency appreciated to 4.1825/1850 versus the greenback from Wednesday’s close of 4.1835/1855.
Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the US Dollar Index (DXY) fell by 0.18 per cent to 95.81 points despite the US’ higher-than-expected retail sales, and pointed out that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is set to raise the benchmark interest rate in March.
“The US January retail sales rose 3.8 per cent versus consensus estimates of 2.0 per cent growth, and the FOMC’s meeting minutes in January had clearly signalled the intention to increase in the Federal Fund Rate soon.
“However, the FOMC also stated that such decision will be data-dependent,” he told Bernama.
Mohd Afzanizam expects ringgit to linger between RM4.18 and RM4.19 today, as the uncertainty over the Russia-Ukraine conflict remains heightened.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly lower against major currencies, except against the euro where it marginally rose to 4.7593/7621 from 4.7596/7618 yesterday.
Against the Singapore dollar, the local note declined to 3.1148/1171 from 3.1123/1140 at the close on Wednesday, slipped to 5.6823/6857 vis-a-vis the British pound from 5.6745/6772 yesterday, and fell to 3.6225/6249 versus the Japanese yen from 3.6174/6191 previously.