Ringgit likely to be firmer against USD next week

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit is likely to stay firm against the US dollar next week on the back of higher commodity prices, particularly the crude oil, coupled with positive regional sentiment.

Affin Hwang Investment Bank Vice-President/Head of Retail Research, Datuk Dr Nazri Khan Adam Khan, said oil prices had been rising following news on the cooperation on cutting output from Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC.

“Our outlook for the ringgit correlates with the higher oil prices and as long as commodity prices go higher, it should remain at the current levels,” he told Bernama.

Besides that, Nazri Khan said, the recent Invest Malaysia 2018, which garnered over 2,000 participants during the event, was tremendous and could be a catalyst in attracting more investments into Malaysia.

OANDA Head of Trading for Asia Pacific, Stephen Innes, anticipated the ringgit to maintain a gradual pace next week, given the stronger comprehensive global growth.

“We should expect a test of 3.85 for the ringgit-US dollar if the weaker US dollar narrative re-emerges early next week.

“Overall, the week comes to a favourable close for Malaysia’s capital markets with ringgit poised for further gains,” said Innes.

During the week, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) increased the overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 3.25 per cent at its Monetary Policy Meeting on Thursday as it decided to normalise the degree of monetary accommodation amid the economy being firmly on a steady growth path.

The last time BNM changed its OPR was in July 2016 when it made a 25-basis-point cut.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the local note finished at 3.8690/8720 against the greenback, the level last seen in April 2016 from 3.9360/9400 the previous week.

The ringgit was, however, traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.

It rose against the Singapore dollar to 2.9607/9648 from 2.9820/9869 the previous week and appreciated against the yen to 3.5456/5490 from 3.5572/5617 last week.

The local unit went up against the euro to 4.8185/8234 from 4.8322/8387 last Friday. It, however, eased against the British pound to 5.5160/5222 from 5.4742/4801 last week.–BERNAMA

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