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KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit reversed last Friday’s gains to close lower against the US dollar on Monday amid cautious sentiment ahead of Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) interest rate decision later this week.
At 6 pm, the local currency depreciated against the greenback to 4.4120/4145 from Friday's close of 4.4060/4085.
An analyst said despite S&P Global Ratings’ revision of Malaysia’s credit ratings outlook to stable from negative, the ringgit weakened marginally against the US dollar as Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s hawkish reaffirmation pushed the US dollar index (DXY) back above the 105.0 level.
"Nevertheless, S&P’s confidence in Malaysia, coupled with the improvement in the country’s manufacturing activity has helped the local note to limit its losses,” he said.
On June 27, S&P Global Ratings revised upward its rating outlook on Malaysia’s long-term sovereign credit ratings to stable from negative, reflecting its expectation that the country’s steady growth momentum and strong external position will remain in place for the next two years.
However, the analyst said the ringgit may strengthen to below the 4.40 level against the greenback,
as BNM is expected to impose its first-ever back-to-back 25 basis points overnight policy rate hike.
Add to that, the local note may also benefit from a potential improvement in Malaysia’s macroeconomic indicators.
Meanwhile, the ringgit settled lower against a basket of major currencies.
The local currency fell against the British pound to 5.3496/3526 from last Friday’s close of 5.3163/3193 and slipped versus the euro to 4.6070/6096 from 4.5060/6086.
It also depreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.2578/2599 from 3.2483/2504 last Friday and was flat vis-a-vis the Singapore dollar at 3.1596/1618. - Bernama