KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 –– The ringgit ended higher against the US dollar as the greenback retreated on selling activities after the United States (US) ISM purchasing managers’ index for services report showed that price pressures are easing, said an analyst.

At 6 pm, the ringgit rose to 4.7380/7425 against the US dollar from yesterday’s close of 4.7545/7575.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the ringgit has gained some good ground today following weak outturn in the US ISM index for the services sector to 51.4 points in March which has been on a downward spiral from as high as 69.1 points on December 2021.

“Such data points support the view that the Federal Reserve will commence its monetary easing this year. It is a question of the timing for the eventual rate cut which continues to affect market sentiments,” he told Bernama.

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SPI Asset Management managing director Stephen Innes said the focus has turned to non-farm payrolls which will be released on Friday.

“It is possible that an in-line print and neutral average hourly earnings could see the dollar ease more. A big overshoot in one metric without a corresponding undershoot in the other could tip the scales to yet another hawkish reassessment of the June rate cut,” he added.

At the close, the ringgit was also traded lower against a basket of major currencies except the Japanese yen.

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It depreciated against the euro to 5.1445/1494 from 5.1192/1224 at Wednesday’s close, weakened vis-a-vis the British pound to 6.0002/0059 from 5.9769/9807, but was better versus the Japanese yen at 3.1222/1254 from 3.1329/1351 previously.

The ringgit was traded higher against Asean currencies except for the Singapore dollar.

The local note was higher versus the Thai baht to 12.9048/12.9223 from 12.9519/12.9653 yesterday and improved vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 298.1/298.5 compared to 298.6/298.9 previously.

It was also higher versus the Philippine peso at 8.40/8.41 from 8.42/8.43 at yesterday’s close but slipped against the Singapore dollar to 3.5172/5208 from 3.5159/5183 previously.—Bernama