KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — The ringgit’s uptrend continues, revisiting the 4.70 level as the Federal Reserve (Fed)’s reassurance about interest rates helped ease worries following higher-than-expected US Producer Price Index (PPI) data.

Fed chair Jerome Powell indicated that the US central bank’s next interest rate move is unlikely to be a hike, describing the reading as more mixed than hot, given that prior-period data was revised lower.

At 9am, the ringgit strengthened to 4.7070/7115 against the greenback from Tuesday’s close of 4.7160/7190.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd Chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the forex markets seemed to have shrugged off the higher-than-expected US PPI, which came in at 0.5 per cent month-on-month in April against consensus estimates of 0.3 per cent.


“Market participants were paying close attention to the Fed chair’s remarks on inflation during an event hosted by the Foreign Bankers’ Association in Amsterdam.

“He highlighted that the prevailing monetary policy is restrictive by all measures, and the disinflationary trend should continue and move towards the 2.0 per cent goal,” he told Bernama.

As a result, the US Dollar Index (DXY) was down 0.19 per cent to 105.017 points, while the two- and 10-year US Treasury note yields fell 4.0 and 3.0 basis points to 4.81 per cent and 4.45 per cent, respectively.


“As such, the ringgit could be well supported as the odds for a US rate hike are quite slim,” he noted.

Next, the market will monitor the release of the US Consumer Price Index tonight and Malaysia’s economic data on Friday.

The ringgit traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies.

It appreciated versus the Japanese yen to 3.0094/0125 from Tuesday’s close of 3.0161/0182, but fell vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.9252/9308 from 5.9158/9195 and depreciated against the euro to 5.0916/0964 from 5.0900/0932 previously.

The local note also traded mixed against Asean currencies.

It gained against the Singapore dollar to 3.4818/4854 from 3.4848/4873 yesterday and inched up vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 292.2/292.8 from 292.7/293.3.

However, it was lower against the Thai baht at 12.8804/8973 from 12.8596/8730 and weaker against the Philippine peso at 8.16/8.17 from 8.15/8.16 previously. — Bernama