KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — The ringgit closed marginally lower against the US dollar today, in line with most regional currencies as the greenback continued its rally following higher treasury yields, coupled with news that the Malaysian economy had slowed down in the first quarter (Q1) 2018, said a dealer.
As at 6pm, the local unit was quoted at 3.9670/9710 against the greenback from 3.9650/9700 recorded yesterday.
It was reported that the ten-year US Treasury yields extended their advance today, hitting 3.1 per cent.
OANDA Asia Pacific Head of Trading Stephen Innes said the higher oil prices would continue to make the ringgit less vulnerable to external shocks but it was hard to argue on the current direction with the US yields moving higher.
“Higher US interest rates are a big negative (for the ringgit),” he told Bernama.
Today, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said that the country’s economy grew by 5.4 per cent in Q1 2018, underpinned by continued expansion in private sector activity and strong support from net exports.
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally-adjusted basis, the economy grew by 1.4 per cent (Q4 2017: 1.0 per cent).
BNM also said headline inflation for the quarter under review declined to 1.8 per cent (Q4 2017: 3.5 per cent).
Meanwhile, the local note traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies, except against the yen whereby it rose to 3.5836/5878 from 3.5993/6042 yesterday.
The ringgit fell against the Singapore dollar to 2.9558/9599 from 2.9530/9569, depreciated vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.3543/3612 from 5.3416/3500 and marginally decreased against the euro to 4.6815/6878 from 4.6811/6886. — Bernama