KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 — The ringgit ended lower against the US dollar on Friday as risk sentiments for the local note remained fragile following higher United States Treasury yields, said an economist.

At 6pm, the ringgit depreciated to 4.7750/7795 versus the greenback compared with Thursday’s close of 4.7710/7800.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the ringgit versus the US dollar lingered between RM4.7725 and RM4.7850, while the US Dollar Index (DXY) rose 0.073 per cent to 104.30 points.

“Generally, the market sentiment is weak, leading to higher US dollar. It remains to be seen whether the DXY can climb further, but the prevailing data points seems to suggest there is still room for the US dollar to rise further,” he told Bernama.

Advertisement

Meanwhile, earlier today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the government is not ignoring or taking the ringgit’s decline lightly, and it is making continuous efforts to address the issue while simultaneously assuring Malaysia’s investment figures remain intact.

He said the central bank has been assigned to monitor the ringgit closely, and on the government’s side, relevant ministries and authorities, including the investment council, are conducting daily meetings to tackle the issue.

“It is concerning. But look at the overall investments which are the biggest ever in the country, inflation continues to go down, unemployment is down, and growth (is) sustained compared to our neighbours.

Advertisement

“I think (we should) take a comprehensive view and the country’s capacity for growth. What is most important to me is the reassuring investment figures,” he said.

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

The local currency was higher vis-a-vis the Japanese yen at 3.1677/1709 from 3.1764/1826 at Thursday’s close, increased against the British pound to 6.0437/0494 from 6.0468/0582 yesterday and rose versus the euro to 5.1656/1705 from 5.1775/1873 previously.

At the same time, the ringgit rose against other Asean currencies.

It advanced versus the Thai baht to 13.2198/2381 compared with 13.3105/3404 at Thursday’s close, improved against the Singapore dollar to 3.5489/5525 from 3.5578/5648 and gained versus the Philippines’ peso at 8.54/8.55 from 8.56/8.58 yesterday.

However, the local note slipped vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 306.1/306.5 from 305.9/306.7 on Thursday. — Bernama