KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit ended the week on a weaker note against the US dollar on caution ahead of elections in six Malaysian states tomorrow.
The greenback was also supported by higher US 10-year Treasury yields after the release of US inflation data yesterday, an analyst said.
At 6 pm, the local note fell to 4.5865/5895 against the US dollar compared with 4.5690/5720 on Thursday.
SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said the US dollar was stronger as traders were not entirely convinced the US Federal Reserve (Fed) will pause the rate hike cycle just yet as there are another consumer price index (CPI) and employment reports before the Fed meets in September.
“So the case for another rate hike could still be made, especially on higher energy and food ‘pass-throughs’. Hence US bond yields climbed and that is negative for the ringgit,” he told Bernama.
Innes also noted the credit concerns surrounding Chinese housebuilders which are affecting sentiment in China and spilling over to the ringgit locally.
Additionally, Singapore's economic growth has fallen below expectations, indicating an economic slowdown in the Lion City and this could potentially harm Malaysia's exports and services if the Singapore slowdown becomes more severe, he warned.
The ringgit was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.
It rose against the Japanese yen to 3.1712/1735 from 3.1760/1783, gained vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.8230/8268 from 5.8296/8334 on Thursday, but eased marginally versus the euro to 5.0351/0384 from 5.0350/0383 previously.
At the same time, the local unit traded lower against other Asean currencies.
The ringgit weakened versus the Singapore dollar to 3.3967/3991 from 3.3948/3975 at Thursday’s close and slipped against the Indonesian rupiah to 301.3/301.6 from 300.8/301.2 yesterday.
It declined against the Philippine peso to 8.14/8.15 from 8.12/8.13 on Thursday and fell against the Thai baht at 13.0737/0871 from 13.0112/0264 previously. -Bernama