Ringgit likely to be in narrow range versus US dollar next week

KUALA LUMPUR – The ringgit is expected to trade in a tight range with a downward bias against the US dollar next week as investors remain cautious in view of the global economic uncertainty, an analyst said.

SPI Asset Management managing director Stephen Innes said the ringgit was expected to trade between 4.5250 and 4.5450 in the coming week amid a firmer greenback that was supported by robust United States (US) data.

“This week’s run of strong data has upped bets for a Federal Reserve (Fed) hike in June,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said investors would be closely monitoring the US debt ceiling issue as it was nearing the deadline of June 1.

“Therefore, investors will be on the lookout for the next communique from the US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sharing further updates next week.

“At the prevailing level, the ringgit is quite close to the resistance level of 4.5491,” he said.

Meanwhile, RHB Investment Bank Bhd said in a note on Friday that the sentiment towards the ringgit remained negative.

The bank revised its end-of-second-quarter 2023 forecast for the local note at 4.55 to 4.65 versus the greenback.

“Without any significant changes in guidance from Bank Negara Malaysia or substantive fiscal reforms announcement in the next few months, US dollar-ringgit could retest the historical peak of 4.748 by the third quarter of 2023,” it said.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the ringgit depreciated against the US dollar to 4.5350/5405 compared to 4.4765/4835 a week earlier.

Meanwhile, the local note traded mostly lower versus a basket of major currencies over the seven-day span except the Japanese yen, against which it rose to 3.2839/2881 from 3.3233/3290 previously.

The ringgit weakened against the British pound to 5.6370/6438 from 5.6082/6169 a week earlier and went down vis-a-vis the euro to 4.8978/9037 from 4.8839/8915 previously.

The ringgit also traded lower against its Asean counterparts.

It slipped against the Thai baht to 13.1862/2083 from 13.1658/1922 and was lower versus the Singapore dollar at 3.3715/3758 from 3.3552/3609 at the end of the preceding week.

The local note eased against the Indonesian rupiah to 303.6/304.2 from 303.4/304.1 last week and weakened vis-a-vis the Philippine peso to 8.14/8.16 versus 8.02/8.04 previously. – Bernama / pic Muhd Amin Naharul