Ringgit rebounds to end higher versus US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — The ringgit rebounded from yesterday’s losses to end higher against the US dollar on Friday, driven by improving sentiment after concerns over a global banking crisis eased, said an analyst.

At 6pm, the local note rose to 4.4850/4880 versus the greenback from yesterday’s closing rate of 4.5005/5055.

SPI Asset Management managing director Stephen Innes noted that the local currency continued to improve along with other Asian currencies today after market volatility around the banking sector crisis receded.

In the meantime, he said that the market is now awaiting the Federal Reserve’s decision on its monetary policy scheduled next week for forward guidance.

“While we think they will hike, it is not clear whether it will be 25-basis points (bps) or 50 bps.

“But based on the favourable risk market reaction to the European Central Bank hike, I do not think it will be too negative for the ringgit,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, the local note was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.

It appreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.3679/3704 from 3.3866/3909 at Thursday’s close and strengthened vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7743/7775 from 4.7777/7830, but fell against the British pound to 5.4390/4426 from 5.4330/4390 previously.

Similarly, the ringgit traded mostly higher against its Asean counterparts.

The local note gained vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 292.20/292.60 from 292.30/292.90 on Thursday, was firmed against the Singapore dollar at 3.3393/3418 from 3.3399/3438 and rose against the Philippine peso at 8.19/8.20 from 8.20/8.21 previously.

However, it depreciated against the Thai baht to 13.0987/1151 from 13.0737/0947 yesterday. — Bernama