Ringgit extends losses to close lower against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR — The ringgit extended its losses to end lower against the US dollar today despite weaker United States economic data, an economist said.

At 6 pm, the ringgit depreciated to 4.7110/7145 versus the greenback from yesterday’s close of 4.7080/7110.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the US initial jobless claims rose to 238,000 in the week ending June 15, which surpassed the initial estimates of 235,000.

However, at the current juncture, the greenback remains favourable as it is the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) desire to maintain a hawkish stance, especially when their counterparts in Europe and Canada have commenced the monetary easing cycle, he said.

“This has put the US dollar at the top spot concerning interest rate differentials,” Mohd Afzanizam told Bernama.

He said the market players will be focusing on the final first quarter of 2024 (1Q 2024) US gross domestic product (GDP) and a series of Fed speakers next week to provide more direction on the market.

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

The local unit appreciated against the Japanese yen to 2.9648/9671 from yesterday’s close of 2.9711/9732, strengthened vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.9594/9638 from 5.9815/9853 and rose versus the euro to 5.0394/0431 from 5.0498/0530 previously.

The ringgit was traded mostly higher against its Asean peers.

It went up vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 286.3/286.7 from 286.5/286.8 at yesterday’s close, higher against the Philippine peso at 8.00/8.02 from 8.01/8.02 and gained against the Singapore dollar to 3.4785/4814 from 3.4807/4832.

However, it eased versus the Thai baht to 12.8495/8639 from 12.8008/8138 previously. — BERNAMA