Ringgit soars 1.8% as new PM swears

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit climbed 1.8% to its highest in over two months versus the US dollar today with the appointment of Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister, easing the political uncertainty and weak US dollar following the federal open market committee’s minutes.

Ringgit soars as new PM sworns
Ringgit soars as new PM sworns

At 6pm, the local note gained 815 percentage points to 4.4910/4.5000 against the greenback from Wednesday’s close of 4.5725/5775.

SPI Asset Management managing director Stephen Innes said the ringgit rose the most among Asian currencies today, while the Bursa Malaysia benchmark rebounded 4.04% as political uncertainty evaporated.

“This would have been perceived as good news for both domestic and international buyers of Malaysia assets; hence the ringgit gapped higher on the news as traders anticipated more foreign equity and bond inflows.

I expect exporters to continue selling their greenback holdings from now until year end,” he told Bernama.

Pakatan Harapan chairman Anwar was sworn in as Malaysia’s 10th prime minister at Istana Negara today.

The market was also boosted by continued hope that price pressure has started to ease, with the US Federal Reserve’s November meeting minutes showing interest rate hikes may slow soon.

“Finally, reopening policies have pivoted in China, which will be a gradual process. Covid-19 control measures will vary across cities, but top-down approaches will be ongoing.

“New daily cases have hit a record high, surpassing 30,000. Still, markets have been here before, recognizing it’s natural for cases to increase as the Chinese economy begins its long and winding road to normalcy,” Innes concluded.

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

Malaysian Ringgit vs Singapore Dollar, Euro and British Pound

The local note improved versus the Singapore dollar to 3.2678/3.2749 from 3.3053/3.3094 at Wednesday’s close, rose against the euro to 4.6792/4.6886 from 4.7202/4.7254 and appreciated versus the British pound to 5.4305/5.4414 from 5.4495/5.4555.

However, it fell vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.2412/3.2479 from 3.2344/3.2382 yesterday.

[Source: FreeMalaysiaToday, Photo credit: Reuters]