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Ringgit seen remaining soft, trading around 4.76 versus US dollar next week

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – The ringgit is expected to remain soft and trade around MYR4.76 against the American dollar next week ahead of talks by United States (US) Federal Reserve (Fed) officials on inflation and the US retail sales data.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said a slew of Fed officials are scheduled for talks next week, which he thinks will offer the same messages – that US inflation is still a concern and that they need to be convinced whether it can reach the American central bank’s two per cent goal.

The US retail sales figure will be announced tomorrow with consensus estimates projecting it will grow 0.3 per cent month-on-month in March from 0.6 per cent previously.

“Perhaps, the first quarter of 2024 (1Q2024) gross domestic product results for China could be a market-moving data point as investors would want to gauge whether the second largest global economy would be able to grow at around five per cent in 2024. Consensus estimates showed China’s economy grew 5.0 per cent year-on-year in 1Q2024,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, he said the European Union consumer price index would also be interesting to look at with street estimates showing that the inflation rate would moderate further to 2.4 per cent in March, a sign that the European Central Bank could be on the right track to cut interest rates this year.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the ringgit weakened to 4.7680/7730 versus the greenback compared with 4.7460/7490 a week earlier. The local note traded higher against most other major currencies.

PHOTO: ENVATO
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