KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 30 ― The ringgit strengthened further to end the last trading day of 2022 higher against the US dollar as China’s reopening and expectations for less aggressive US interest rate hikes lifted the local currency, a dealer said.
The greenback retreated after American jobs data, showing a rise in unemployment benefits, raised expectations that the US Federal Reserve (Fed) would be less hawkish with interest rates.
At 6pm, the local note rose to 4.3995/4095 against the US dollar from Thursday’s close of 4.4180/4215.
The dealer noted, however, that the safe-haven currency is set for its best year since 2015, buoyed by the interest rate increases from the Fed with the US dollar index at 104.9.
He said the strong momentum in local equities also supported the ringgit.
SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes told Bernama that the ringgit put on a “very strong” year-end rally, supported by the China reopening factor.
“The absence of any negative headlines from locales where Chinese travellers are arriving fresh from three years of a forced travel hiatus is being taken as no news is good news.
“This is also excellent news for Chinese tourist destinations like Thailand and Malaysia and positive for their local currencies,” he said.
However, the ringgit traded mixed against a basket of major currencies.
It gained against the British pound to 5.2930/3051 from 5.3255/3297 at Thursday’s close and appreciated against the euro to 4.6881/6988 from 4.7078/7116 previously.
The ringgit depreciated vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.3307/3385 from 3.3061/3090 on Thursday and fell versus the Singapore dollar to 3.2786/2865 from 3.2770/2800 yesterday. ― Bernama