Bullish February trade lifts ringgit higher against US dollar

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 13): The ringgit snapped its five-day losing streak against the US dollar in the early trade on Wednesday (April 13) as the encouraging trade figures for February sparked risk appetite for the local currency, a dealer said.

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At 9am, the local note had risen to 4.2290/2320 versus the greenback from Tuesday’s close at 4.2305/2330.

“This (the trade performance) managed to offset the currently stronger US dollar on the back of growing expectations that the US Federal Reserve might increase its key rate as the latest data showed that inflation was higher than expected.

“Malaysia’s transition to the endemic phase [of Covid-19], coupled with this positive trade (the data), helped boost sentiment in the market,” he told Bernama.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the yearly Consumer Price Index stood at 8.5%, slightly higher than the 8.4% projected by the market.

Back home, the Department of Statistics Malaysia said Malaysia’s total trade for February 2022 grew 17.5% year-on-year to RM184.8 billion, with exports up by 16.8% to RM102.3 billion and imports rising 18.4% to RM82.5 billion.

Chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said higher exports were recorded in most states, such as Penang (RM5.7 billion), Sarawak (RM3 billion), Kedah (RM2.2 billion), Labuan (RM1.6 billion), Selangor (RM1.5 billion), Sabah (RM1.2 billion), Johor (RM1.1 billion), Kuala Lumpur (RM1 billion), Pahang (RM103.8 million) and Perlis (RM23.9 million).

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However, exports decreased in Melaka (RM1.2 billion), Perak (RM1.1 billion), Terengganu (RM320.2 million), Kelantan (RM199.5 million) and Negeri Sembilan (RM31.7 million).

Among the top five major importing states, Selangor remained as the largest contributor with a share of 26.3%, followed by Penang (23.1%), Johor (20.2%), Kuala Lumpur (7.1%) and Kedah (6.2%).

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded firmer against a basket of major currencies.

It appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.0993/1020 from 3.1015/1036 on Tuesday and strengthened versus the Japanese yen to 3.3665/3692 from 3.3674/3697.

The local unit increased vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.4952/4991 from 5.5026/5059 and advanced against the euro to 4.5741/5773 from 4.5998/6025 previously.-BERNAMA