The Malaysian ringgit is expected to extend its uptrend momentum against the US dollar next week, riding on positive market sentiment as fears over Omicron subside.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the latest news that the Omicron variant might be less lethal than its predecessors suggested that the reopening of the economy would continue to progress well, resulting in more lively economic activities.

He said, to some degree, it would also bolster the case for higher interest rates in both Malaysia and the US next year.

“The current support level is around 4.18 against the US dollar. So the ringgit might flirt around that level next week,” he told Bernama.

The United Kingdom’s Health Security Agency reportedly said the risk of hospitalisation for an individual with the Omicron variant was between 50 per cent and 70 per cent lower compared with the previously dominant Delta strain.

The individual is also between 31 per cent and 45 per cent less likely to attend emergency departments with Omicron than with Delta, the government agency was quoted as saying.

For the week-just-ended, the ringgit moved in a volatile pattern mainly influenced by the developments in the Omicron variant.

It ended the week on a stronger note versus the US dollar at 4.1935/1980 at Friday’s close compared with 4.2190/2210 a week earlier.

The local currency was traded mostly higher against other major currencies against the previous Friday.

It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0887/0954 from 3.0899/0919 last Friday, strengthened vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.6660/6702 from 3.7139/7160, and firmed against the euro to 4.7567/7618 from 4.7805/7828 in the previous week.

However, it depreciated against the the British pound to 5.6226/6287 compared with 5.6180/6203 on Friday last week.

Source: NAM News Network

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