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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — The ringgit extended losses against the US dollar at close today in line with the falling emerging Asian currencies on global economic growth concerns despite the government announcing an adjustment of economic targets.
At 5 pm, the local note was quoted at 3.6060/6730 against the greenback compared with 3.5700/5590 on Monday.
A dealer said the ringgit hit a near six-year low after the government increased its fiscal deficit target to 3.2 per cent of gross domestic product and cut forecast economic growth and inflation this year to adjust the country’s budget after a sharp fall in earnings from oil and gas. “The measures are expected to keep the ringgit trading within the 3.60-3.70 range in the coming quarters,” he said.
He added that the budget revision, though realistic and considering up-to-date developments, is still exposed to global macro market risk ahead such as lower crude prices and expectations of a US interest rate hike. The ringgit also weakened against other major currencies. It eased against the Singapore dollar to 2.6965/7005 from Friday’s 2.6808/6840 and depreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.0536/0574 from 3.0456/0486.
The local unit weakened against the British pound to 5.4256/5593 from 5.4100/4149 and depreciated against the euro to 4.1783/1828 from 4.1355/1393. — Bernama