KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) continuous positive tone over Malaysia’s economic growth has helped to lift the ringgit to end higher against the US dollar today.

At 6pm, the local currency was traded at 4.1880/1910 against the greenback compared with 4.1925/1950 at yesterday’s close.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid told Bernama that the central bank appeared to be comfortable with the state of the economy as its reopening will continue to occur amid effective vaccination rollout.

Earlier today, BNM’s Monetary Policy Committee kept the overnight policy rate (OPR) unchanged at 1.75 per cent.

The central bank said labour market conditions have also improved in many countries, although several countries reintroduced measures to curb ongoing Covid-19 resurgences, causing some moderation in the pace of recovery in domestic activity, especially services.

On headline inflation, BNM said the average headline inflation is likely to remain moderate as the base effect from fuel inflation dissipates.

“We are maintaining our call that the OPR would be raised by 25 basis points in the second half of 2022,” Mohd Afzanizam said.

In light of this, he believed the ringgit could be well supported and would stage further appreciation throughout this year.

Overall, the local note was traded mostly lower against a basket of other major currencies.

The ringgit ended higher versus the euro to 4.7521/7555 from 4.7553/7575 at yesterday’s close but lower against the Singapore dollar at 3.1103/1130 from 3.1086/1095 yesterday.

The local note was easier against the British pound at 5.7066/7107 from 5.7018/7036 yesterday and depreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.6640/6670 from 3.6600/6625 previously. — Bernama