Ringgit Expected Trade At 4.25 Level Next Week On Back Of China’s Economic Rebound As U.S. Dollar Soars

The ringgit is likely to trade at the 4.25 level against the US dollar next week on the back of optimism about China’s economic rebound.

SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said the outlook for the ringgit is still favourable as the China rebound will counter any economic drag in the United States (US).

He noted that China’s economic rebound would help regional economies and currencies such as the ringgit but investors need to see better growth in China before allocating more funds to Asia and strengthening the ringgit and other Asean currencies.

“What we are really watching now is the big US dollar and if corporate holders of the US dollar locally and in the US sell their balance.

“This will be the turning point on broader US dollar sentiment and when the ringgit picks up steam again,” he told Bernama.

Innes also said that he expects the ringgit-US dollar to touch the 4.27 level due to the uptick in market volatility depending on the US non-farm payroll data.

Meanwhile, Kenanga Research said the local note may trade range-bound between 4.24 and 4.28 due to the dissipation of market volatility post-Federal Open Market Committee meeting in the week just ended.

“Locally, the ringgit will be influenced by the release of important macroeconomic indicators such as the fourth quarter gross domestic product on Feb 10, in which a better-than-expected reading may help to boost demand for the Malaysian currency,” it said in a research note today.

The brokerage firm also said that the ringgit’s direction would also be subjected to the outcome of US non-farm payroll numbers.

The ringgit ended the holiday-shortened week lower ahead of the US non-farm payroll data but overall sentiment remained weak due to the volatile economic environment.

On a week-on-week basis, the ringgit fell against the US dollar to 4.2565/2610 at Friday’s close versus 4.2410/2475 a week earlier.

The local note ended mostly higher against a basket of major currencies compared to a week earlier.

It appreciated against the British pound at 5.2125/2180 from 5.2453/2533, strengthened against the Singapore dollar to 3.2475/2514 from 3.2498/2534, and the euro at 4.6519/6568 from 4.6685/6735.

The local unit depreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.3106/3147 from 3.2658/2711.

US dollar jumps after strong jobs report

The US dollar soared in late trading on Friday after data showed US job growth accelerated sharply in January, reported Xinhua.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, increased 1.16 per cent to 102.9340.

In late New York trading, the euro was down to US$1.0803 from US$1.0908 in the previous session, and the British pound decreased to US$1.2054 from US$1.2231 in the previous session.

The US dollar bought 131.06 Japanese yen, higher than 128.65 Japanese yen of the previous session. The US dollar rose to 0.9258 Swiss francs from 0.9137 Swiss francs, and it increased to 1.3398 Canadian dollars from 1.3329 Canadian dollars. The US dollar climbed to 10.5476 Swedish Kronor from 10.3746 Swedish Kronor.

US employers added 517,000 jobs in January, crushing estimates, the Labor Department reported on Friday. The huge job growth was compounded by a new low in the unemployment rate, which fell from 3.5 per cent to 3.4 per cent, a new 54-year low.

The robust jobs report fueled expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep hiking rates, boosting the US dollar.

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