KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — The ringgit retreated from four consecutive days of gains to close lower against the US dollar on Friday on mild profit-taking after the sharp appreciation recently, an economist said.
At 6pm, the local note fell to 4.4250/4305 versus the greenback compared with yesterday’s closing rate of 4.4160/4200.
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) print in February showed that Malaysia’s inflation rate has been sustained at 3.7 per cent for two consecutive months.
“On a similar note, the core CPI has also been lingering at 3.9 per cent for two months in a row.
“We believe the inflation rate is still on the high side with the average inflation since 2006 stood at 2.2 per cent,” he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies except the Japanese yen.
The local note rose vis-à-vis the euro to 4.7476/7535 from 4.8055/8098 at yesterday’s close and appreciated against the British pound to 5.4034/4101 from 5.4379/4428 previously
However, it fell against the Japanese yen to 3.4099/4144 from 3.3679/3712 yesterday.
At the same time, the ringgit was traded mostly lower against Asean currencies.
The local currency weakened against the Indonesian rupiah to 291.90/292.50 from 287.70/288.10 on Wednesday, depreciated against the Thai baht to 12.9610/9835 from 12.9562/9741 and eased against the Philippine peso to 8.15/8.16 from 8.13/8.14 previously.
However, the local note strengthened versus the Singapore dollar to 3.3178/3225 from 3.3278/3313 previously.