PETALING JAYA :
- The ringgit has strengthened, as a fresh wave of foreign money flowing into the local bourse lifted the currency’s exchange rate to as high as RM3.98 to US$1.
- This is the first time since August last year that the ringgit has traded below the pyschologically important four level.
- The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KL Composite Index climbed 6.39 points to 1,724.75 points – its highest in more than seven months.
- Alliance Bank chief economist Manokaran Mottain said while it was a “good sign” that the ringgit had briefly strengthened to below four, he expected it to continue to exhibit volatility for a while, in tandem with the volatility in crude oil prices.
- “At the moment, temporary relief is being provided for it largely due to crude, which is trading higher at above US$40 per barrel, but we don’t think it (oil) has reached a steady level yet, ” Manokaran said.
- Notably, although the benchmark Brent crude has risen more than 50% from 12-year lows recorded in January, lingering concerns on China’s economic slowdown and the glut in global oil supply continue to stoke concerns across markets.
- The ringgit was last traded at 4.0097 against the US dollar yesterday, up 1.2% from 4.058 on Monday.