KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – The ringgit opened unchanged against the United States (US) dollar yesterday but was higher versus a basket of major currencies, supported by the seasonal demand bounce on crude oil demand.
At 9am, the local unit stood at 4.1380/1430 versus the greenback from 4.1380/1420 at Friday’s close.
Axi Chief Global Market Strategist Stephen Innes said the positive trend for the local note against the major currencies (except with the US dollar) was also due to the recovery in the bond market, which recovered sharply last week on the FTSE news.
“Malaysia will remain in the FTSE World Government Bond Index (WBGI), removing a vital overhang of the past two years. Stretched absolute yields and low liquidity had likely contributed to the rally.
“Still, I suspect foreign investors will be slow to re-engage long duration as the market begins pricing in central bank policy normalisation. And in the Bank Negara Malaysia case, the easing cycle is over,” he told Bernama.
Separately, the ringgit has also received support from the improved local manufacturing data, of which the headline IHS Markit Malaysia Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 49.9 in March from 47.7 in February this year.
According to IHS Markit, March’s PMI reading of 49.9 was the highest since July 2020.
The local note rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0754/0794 from 3.0780/0816 and appreciated against the yen to 3.7407/7456 from 3.7455/7494. Vis-a-vis the British pound, the ringgit advanced to 5.7216/7298 from 5.7241/7309 and was higher at 4.8675/8751 from 4.8733/8797 when compared with the euro.