Ringgit kicks-off new week stronger against greenback

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit kicked off the new week on a stronger note against the US dollar, extending last week's upward momentum following the better-than-expected first quarter (1Q17) Gross Domestic Product results coupled with positive prospects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement being revived.

At 9am, the local unit was quoted at 4.3080/3110 against the greenback from 4.3180/3230 at 6pm on Friday.

The Malaysian economy recorded a robust growth of 5.6% in 1Q17 against the 4.1% recorded in the same quarter of 2016, making it the fastest growth in two years.

The bullish quarter performance was powered by strong domestic demand, higher exports and a rise in manufacturing activity, central bank Governor Datuk Seri Muhammad Ibrahim announced on Friday.

Meanwhile, the remaining 11 TPP-countries agreed to keep one of the most ambitious free trade pacts ever negotiated alive without the US, following the meeting of their trade ministers on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Hanoi over the weekend.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said member countries were united in their commitment to maintain the momentum of trade liberalisation and regional integration.

Against the other major currencies, the ringgit was traded mostly higher.

It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.1049/1090 from 3.1056/1114 on Friday, strengthened versus the Japanese yen to 3.8640/8678 from 3.8723/8782 and increased against the British pound to 5.5939/5991 from 5.6177/6247.

The ringgit, however, depreciated vis-a-vis the euro to 4.8198/8236 from 4.8176/8245 previously. — Bernama