KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — The ringgit snapped its five-day losing streak against the US dollar in the early trade today as the encouraging trade figures for February sparked risk appetite for the local currency, a dealer said.
At 9am, the local note rose to 4.2290/2320 versus the greenback from Tuesday’s close of 4.2305/2330.
“This (trade performance) managed to offset the currently stronger US dollar on the back of growing expectations that the United States (US) Federal Reserve might increase its key rate, as the latest data showed that inflation was higher than expected.
“Malaysia’s transition to the endemic phase, coupled with this positive trade (data) helped boost sentiment in the market,” he told Bernama.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the yearly Consumer Price Index stood at 8.5 per cent, slightly higher than the 8.4 per cent projected by the market.
Back home, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) said Malaysia’s total trade for February 2022 grew 17.5 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) to RM184.8 billion, with exports up by 16.8 per cent to RM102.3 billion and imports rising 18.4 per cent to RM82.5 billion.
Chief statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said higher exports were recorded in most states such as Penang (RM5.7 billion), Sarawak (RM3.0 billion), Kedah (RM2.2 billion), Labuan (RM1.6 billion), Selangor (RM1.5 billion), Sabah (RM1.2 billion), Johor (RM1.1 billion), Kuala Lumpur (RM1.0 billion), Pahang (RM103.8 million) and Perlis (RM23.9 million).
However, exports decreased in Melaka (RM1.2 billion), Perak (RM1.1 billion), Terengganu (RM320.2 million), Kelantan (RM199.5 million), and Negeri Sembilan (RM31.7 million).
Among the top five major importing states, Selangor remained the largest contributor with a share of 26.3 per cent, followed by Penang (23.1 per cent), Johor (20.2 per cent), Kuala Lumpur (7.1 per cent), and Kedah (6.2 per cent).
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded firmer against a basket of major currencies.
It appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.0993/1020 from 3.1015/1036 on Tuesday and strengthened versus the Japanese yen to 3.3665/3692 from 3.3674/3697.
The local unit increased vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.4952/4991 from 5.5026/5059 and advanced against the euro to 4.5741/5773 from 4.5998/6025 previously.