KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 1 – The ringgit is expected to strengthen against the US dollar next week, on expectations of positive Malaysian trade data, a dealer said. MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd’s Chief Economist Dr Kamaruddin Mohd Nor said however, the ringgit is likely to see range-bound trade between 4.4100 and 4.4200.
“The Ministry of International Trade and Industry is expected to release Malaysia’s trade data for February on April 5, and we expect to see good numbers mid-week to help boost the ringgit. Crude oil prices which have stabilised will also give some support to the ringgit,” he told Bernama.
He said on the external front, the hawkish tone of the Federal Reserve on raising interest rates more than thrice this year, might put some pressure on emerging currencies. Meanwhile, Hong Leong Research said the ringgit had advanced 0.2% week-on-week to 4.4205 against the greenback, due largely to a one-day rally early in the week.
It also advanced against all currencies of the Group of 10 countries on the back of firmer regional sentiment. “We keep a slight bearish view on the ringgit against the US dollar next week, in anticipating a further rebound in the greenback. But, caution that strong Malaysian economic data could overturn losses into modest gains,” Hong Leong Research said.
For the week just-ended, the ringgit moved between 4.4090 and 4.4230 against the US dollar. On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the ringgit traded flat at 4.4230/4280 against the greenback. Against other major currencies, the local note finished mostly lower, except the Singapore dollar.
It weakened against the yen to 3.9502/9550 from 3.9789/9845 last Friday, declined against the euro at 4.7198/7260 from 4.7777/7849, and against the British pound, slipped to 5.5009/5080 from 5.5248/5328. The ringgit improved against the Singapore dollar to 3.1640/1685 from 3.1600/1651 last week. — Bernama