Dealer: Ringgit likely to hover around 4.45 next week

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The ringgit is likely to hover around the 4.45 level against the US dollar next week with external factors continuing to influence the local unit's movement, a dealer said. 

Affin Hwang Investment Bank vice-president/head of retail research Nazri Khan Adam Khan said the ringgit and other currencies would receive a boost with recovering oil prices.

"We believe the ringgit will eventually stabilise and strengthen considering Malaysia's strong fundamentals, coupled with improving commodity prices such as rubber and palm oil," he told Bernama

He, however, said most people were looking ahead to the US Federal Reserve meeting, for the next big move in the foreign exchange market, in anticipation of a further interest rate hike. 

For the week just ended, the ringgit was traded at 4.4710/4740 against the greenback last Friday compared with 4.4845/4875 but ended mostly lower against other major currencies. 

The ringgit fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.1176/1213 from 3.1043/1085 last Friday and slid to 3.8550/8586 versus the yen from 3.8375/8411 last week. 

Against the British pound, it declined to 5.5373/5428 from 5.5213/5259 previously but appreciated to 4.7388/7438 against the euro from 4.7482/7523 last Friday.

Short-term rates are likely to be steady next week with Bank Negara Malaysia expected to offer tenders to absorb excess funds from the system. 

For the week just ended, the overnight rate was quoted at 2.96 percent while the one-, two- and three-week rates were at 3.02 percent, 3.07 and 3.11 percent, respectively. 

The central bank intervened on a daily basis to mop up surplus liquidity by conducting conventional money market, repo and range maturity auction money market tenders. 

It also conducted Qard Islamic range maturity auction tenders and Qard tenders. 

The total liquidity surplus for the week just ended was lower at RM26.14 billion in conventional operations against RM31.67 billion last Friday. 

Islamic funds decreased to RM7.74 billion from RM11.00 billion previously.

The benchmark three-month interbank rate stood at 3.42 percent.

- Bernama

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