Ringgit continues momentum, higher against US dollar, major currencies

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit continues its momentum to open higher against the US dollar today and improved versus a basket of other major currencies, as well as Asean currencies supported by Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) statement on the local note's valuation. 

At 9 am, the ringgit edged up to 4.7370/7410 against the greenback compared with Thursday's close of 4.7400/7455. 

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the central bank has been explicit that the ringgit is undervalued. 

"I reckon the ringgit will continue to appreciate today as the local note has been oversold for quite a while," he told Bernama. 

Meanwhile, ActivTrades trader Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz said the US dollar's downward movement came after the release of initial jobless claims data, which was higher than expected. 

The US jobless claims rose to 215,000 against a 209,000 consensus forecast, a move that tends to be negative for the dollar, he said. 

"Another indicator favouring the ringgit against the US dollar was the February's US Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI), which came lower than expected at 44 against a 48.1 forecast; which negatively impacted the greenback," said Diniz.

Back home, the ringgit was traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

The local currency rose against the British pound to 5.9809/9860 from 6.0042/0111 yesterday, strengthened versus the euro to 5.1212/1255 from 5.1434/1493, and increased vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1532/1562 from 3.1642/1681 at Thursday's close.

The ringgit also performed better against other Asean currencies. 

It edged up versus the Thai baht to 13.1965/2146 from Thursday's close of 13.2140/2345, was up against the Singapore dollar at 3.5198/5231 compared to 3.5257/5301 and inched up vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 301.3/301.7 from 301.5/302.0 previously. 

The ringgit was flat against the Philippine peso at 8.43/8.45 from 8.43/8.44 yesterday. - Bernama

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