Ringgit ends broadly higher, hits five-month high against greenback

The local currency finished at 4.1930/1960 against the US dollar today compared with 4.2180/2230 at 6pm yesterday. — Reuters pic
The local currency finished at 4.1930/1960 against the US dollar today compared with 4.2180/2230 at 6pm yesterday. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 — The ringgit was traded broadly higher against a basket of major currencies today and ended at five-month high versus the US dollar.

AxiCorp chief global market strategist Stephen Innes attributed the better performance to the weakening greenback and stable global oil prices.

The local currency finished at 4.1930/1960 against the US dollar today compared with 4.2180/2230 at 6pm yesterday.

This was the ringgit’s best showing since closing at the 4.1700/1750 level on March 6.

“Oil prices are up, dollar is weaker and US real yield are falling precipitously, making Malaysian Government Securities so attractive. Plus, the US-China trade friction appears to be taking a positive turn.

“It’s a believably strong day for the ringgit as opposed to an unbelievable one. Honestly, I haven’t seen it this good for the ringgit in some time,” Innes told Bernama.

Global crude oil prices rallied following a significant drop in the US crude inventories, as production for May reportedly dropped by 1.99 million barrels per day, the steepest monthly decline since at least January 1980.

Growing hopes of the US making progress on its new economic stimulus package coupled with expectation of a better-than-expected second-quarter GDP performance for Malaysia also helped lift optimism in the market.

At press time, the benchmark Brent crude rose 2.05 per cent to US$45.34 (RM190) per barrel while the West Texas Intermediate crude increased 2.21 per cent to US$42.62 per barrel.

Against other benchmark currencies, the ringgit ended higher against the Singapore dollar to 3.0619/0646 from 3.0672/0719 recorded yesterday and strengthened versus the Japanese yen to 3.9661/9701 from 3.9796/9855 yesterday.

The local unit appreciated vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.5046/5106 from 5.5079/5161 and increased against the euro to 4.9709/9760 from 4.9747/9810 previously. — Bernama

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