Ringgit ends higher against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR • The ringgit extended yesterday’s gains to end the week higher against the US dollar today, boosted by a rally in the oil market which lifted benchmark Brent crude above the US$100 (RM447) level again.

At 6pm, the local currency rose to 4.4655/4675 against the greenback from yesterday’s close of 4.4700/4730.

Oil prices rose today on signs of improving fuel demand after Saudi Arabia suggested that the OPEC+ could consider cutting output. 

An analyst said investors were anxiously looking for new guidance from the speech by US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell at the Jackson Hole Symposium later today.

According to a news report, the central bank is expected to use its power to reduce inflation pressure and Powell is also expected to not provide any substantive clues on rates for the next policy meeting on Sept 21.

The US economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.6% in the second quarter of this year, compared to a contraction of 0.9% estimated a month ago, according to data released yesterday by the US Commerce Department, reports said.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

It appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.2140/2159 from 3.2174/2201 at Thursday’s close and rose against the euro to 4.4668/4688 from 4.4673/4703 yesterday.

The local unit edged up versus the British pound to 5.2831/2855 from 5.2902/2938 and increased slightly vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.2619/2636 from 3.2750/2774 previously. — Bernama / TMRgraphic