KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — The ringgit has surpassed the RM4.40-level against the US dollar at the end of a week’s trading as investors flee to safe haven assets including the greenback amid a signal by the European Central Bank (ECB) to hike interest rates next month, said an analyst.

The reasons for ECB’s decision to hike the interest rates, the first since 2011, was to tackle slowing economic growth in the European economic bloc as well as to cool soaring inflation, he added.

At 6pm, the local currency depreciated to 4.4000/4030 against the US dollar from Thursday’s close of 4.3920/3940.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the ECB’s decision on Thursday has lent more support to the US dollar and the United States’ (US) consumers price index for May is also expected to stay elevated at around 8.3 per cent based on consensus estimates.

"With that mind, the US dollar would remain bullish as the Fed is expected to go ahead with their aggressive monetary tightening bias next week,” he told Bernama.

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

The local note rose against the British pound to 5.4784/4822 from Thursday’s close of 5.4992/5017 and strengthened against the Singapore dollar to 3.1856/1880 from 3.1939/1956 yesterday.

It appreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.2870/2895 from 3.2896/2914 and went up against the euro to 4.6618/6650 from 4.7060/7082. — Bernama