Ringgit strengthens against US dollar in early trade

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit continued to trend higher as it strengthened against the US dollar in the early session on Friday following weaker US economic data, an economist said.

At 9 am, the ringgit climbed to 4.6300/6380 against the greenback from yesterday's close of 4.6525/6565.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the final third quarter (3Q) 2023 US gross domestic product (GDP) estimates came in lower than expected at 4.9 per cent against consensus survey of 5.2 per cent.

Consequently, the US Dollar Index (DXY) fell 0.62 per cent to 101.775 points.

Mohd Afzanizam said market players' view that the US Federal Reserve would begin the interest rate cut next year still has some ground.

"Therefore, the ringgit is poised to appreciate and might move towards the immediate support level of RM4.5778 in due course," he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded mostly lower versus a basket of major currencies.

It appreciated against the British pound to 5.8750/8852 from 5.8766/8816 at Thursday's close, but weakened vis-a-vis the euro to 5.0949/1037 from 5.0922/0965 and slipped against the Japanese yen to 3.2553/2614 from 3.2519/2549 previously.

However, the local note was traded mostly higher against a few Asean currencies.

The ringgit strengthened against the Singapore dollar to 3.4904/4967 from 3.4973/5006 on Thursday but fell against the Thai baht to 13.3607/3903 from 13.3443/3631.

It improved against the Indonesian rupiah to 298.1/298.8 from 299.6/300.0 yesterday and was higher versus the Philippine peso at 8.36/8.39 from 8.37/8.38 previously. - Bernama

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