KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 — The ringgit settled 0.11 per cent lower against the US dollar today on lack of buying interest, said an analyst.

At 6pm, the local currency depreciated to 4.3980/3995 versus the greenback from Thursday’s close of 4.3935/3945.

The analyst said the ringgit did not respond positively against the greenback despite Malaysia’s better Gross Domestic Product (GDP) performance for the first quarter (Q1) of 2022.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) today announced that the economy rebounded in Q1 2022 with a five per cent growth versus a contraction of 0.5 per cent in the same quarter last year, buoyed by improving domestic demand as economic activities continued to normalise with the easing of containment measures.

Its governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said the domestic economy was expected to improve further this year, with growth projected to be between 5.3 per cent and 6.3 per cent in 2022, supported by the stronger domestic demand, continued expansion in external demand and further improvement in the labour market.

She said the central bank did not target any level of exchange rate but would ensure that there was no excessive volatility in the rate and conditions in the financial market.

“We have to acknowledge that the key factor that contributed to our ability to successfully track the ringgit in 1998 was the capital controls introduced back then,” she said.

On the weakening of the local note, she said it was largely driven by external factors given the very strong growth in the United States and rising inflation, coupled with uncertainties in the global economy, including the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and uncertainty in China due to the lockdowns.

However, the ringgit was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.

It appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.1482/1497 from Thursday’s close of 3.1488/1500, increased vis-a-vis the the euro to 4.5625/5640 from 4.5820/5830 yesterday and rose versus the Japanese yen to 3.4127/4142 from 3.4145/4156.

However, the local note weakened versus the British pound to 5.3568/3586 from 5.3539/3551 previously. — Bernama