KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit is expected to trade range-bound with a slight appreciation against the US dollar next week, said an analyst.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the ringgit is anticipated to trade between RM4.71 and RM4.72 per US dollar as investors digest the United States (US) nonfarm payroll data on Friday.

In the meantime, he said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised its 2024 global growth forecast from 2.9 per cent to 3.1 per cent.

“This would mean a soft landing in the global growth storyline has been solidified, alleviating fear for weaker growth as the global interest rates are likely to be on a lower trajectory,“ he told Bernama.

On Wednesday, the US Federal Reserve decided to maintain the interest rate at 5.50 per cent during its January monetary policy meeting.

Mohd Afzanizam noted that the US Fed decision might suggest that it would slightly delay its rate cut to perhaps in June - albeit the downward narrative still intact, which could be positive for the emerging market currencies.

For the holiday-shortened week just ended, the local note was traded mixed on risk-off sentiment ahead of global monetary policy decisions.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the ringgit was traded higher against the US dollar at 4.7155/7185 compared to 4.7275/7325 a week earlier.

However, the local unit was traded easier against other major currencies.

It slid vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.2142/2164 from 3.1988/2024 a week earlier, eased against the British pound to 6.0160/0199 from 6.0120/0183 and depreciated versus the euro to 5.1352/1384 versus 5.1279/1333 previously.

The ringgit was traded lower against a few Asean currencies.

It weakened versus the Singapore dollar to 3.5309/5334 from 3.5267/5307 a week ago and declined against the Thai baht to 13.3735/3873 from 13.2679/2879 previously.

The ringgit fell against the Indonesian rupiah to 301.0/301.4 compared to 298.7/299.1 last Friday and went down against the Philippine peso to 8.43/8.44 from last week’s closing rate of 8.39/8.41. - Bernama

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