Ringgit ends higher on China’s economic data, vaccine hopes

Malaysian ringgit notes are seen among US dollar bills in this photo illustration taken in Singapore in this August 24, 2015 file photo. — Reuters pic
Malaysian ringgit notes are seen among US dollar bills in this photo illustration taken in Singapore in this August 24, 2015 file photo. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — The ringgit ended on a stronger note on Monday as investors parsed through a bag of Chinese economic data and vaccine developments.

At 6pm, the local currency stood at 4.1415/1465 versus the greenback compared with 4.1470/1520 at last Friday’s close.

Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said although there was a mild disappointment in the latest China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) print, consumer consumption data like retail sales and industrial production painted an improving China landscape.

The world’s second-biggest economy and Malaysia’s major trading partner saw an economic growth of 4.9 per cent in the third quarter this year, quicker than the 3.2 per cent posted in the second quarter.

However, the economy expanded less than the expected 5.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, production surged 6.9 per cent year-on-year in September, while retail sales of consumer goods climbed 3.3 per cent during the month.

“I also feel very bullish for Asian currencies on a Joe Biden election win. So, I think we could see 4.12 on the ringgit post-US election as the yuan would have more room to rally.

“And 4.135 is not a bridge too far before the US election so long as we get a pre-election US stimulus deal and oil prices hold up,” he told Bernama.

The ringgit hit its highest level against the greenback this year at RM4.1347 on Oct 9.

The market also got a boost from Pfizer Inc’s statement on Friday that it could have a Covid-19 vaccine ready in the United States by the end of 2020 and the US’s effort to finalise its stimulus package.

In addition, market players are also monitoring the outcome from Opec+ meeting today to assess the market amid rising Covid-19 cases.

Going forward, investors could focus on October flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) from around the world on Friday, he added.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mixed against other major currencies.

It was unchanged against the Singapore dollar from last Friday’s 3.0517/0556 and increased versus the yen to 3.9308/9367 from 3.9409/9460.

The local unit was lower against the British pound to 5.3819/3900 from 5.3654/3735 and vis-a-vis the euro at 4.8679/8755 from 4.8553/8628 last Friday. — Bernama

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