Selangor Journal
A woman counts U.S. dollar bills, at Buenos Aires, Argentina, on August 28, 2018. — Picture by REUTERS

Ringgit ends lower as US dollar strengthens on safe-haven appeal

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5—The ringgit ended lower against the US dollar as the greenback strengthened its appeal as a safe-haven currency amid rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and ahead of the United States’ (US) non-farm payrolls (NFP) data to be released later today.

At 6pm, the ringgit eased to 4.7460/7490 against the US dollar from Thursday’s close of 4.7380/7425.

SPI Asset Management managing director Stephen Innes said the US dollar has benefited from risk-off trading conditions spurred by yesterday’s geopolitical concerns, which led to a sell-off in US equity markets and, to a lesser degree, comments from US Federal Reserve (US Fed) member Neel Kashkari who said there may be no need to cut rates in 2024.

“Some positions are also squaring to the US dollar benefits ahead of tonight’s NFP.

“However, unless there is a significant surprise in today’s NFP release, it is more probable that next week’s releases of the latest US Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) reports for March will carry more weight for Fed rate cut expectations and the direction of the US dollar throughout the rest of this month,” he told Bernama.

At the close, the ringgit was also traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies except the Japanese yen.

It appreciated against the euro to 5.1437/1470 from 5.1445/1494 at Thursday’s close, strengthened vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.9956/9994 from 6.0002/0059, but was easier versus the Japanese yen at 3.1341/1363 from 3.1222/1254 previously.

The ringgit was traded lower against Asean currencies except for the Philippine peso.

The local note was lower versus the Thai baht to 12.9495/12.9641 from 12.9048/12.9223 on Thursday and slid vis-à-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 299.4/299.8 compared to 298.1/298.5 previously.

It also slipped against the Singapore dollar to 3.5208/5233 from 3.5172/5208 at yesterday’s close but was better versus the Philippine peso at 8.39/8.41 from 8.40/8.41 previously.

— Bernama

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