KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit closed slightly lower against the US dollar today as investors retreated to the greenback following the release of strong retail sales data by the US Commerce Department.
At 6 pm, the local note stood at 4.1125/1165 compared with 4.1100/1130 against the US dollar at Tuesday’s close.
A dealer said the stronger June retail data, which shows sales increasing 0.4% month–on–month, is an indication that the US economy is set to grow further.
However, he added that future interest rate cuts and the World Trade Organisation’s mixed ruling over the US’ imposition of duties on Chinese goods might weaken the dollar in the near future.
“Malaysia needs a strong catalyst to attract foreign investors as we are now relying on either oil or other commodities currently on a downtrend,“ he said.
Meanwhile, the local note was traded mostly higher against other major currencies.
It rose versus the British pound to 5.1003/1057 from 5.1161/1211 on Tuesday, inched up against the euro to 4.6122/6183 from 4.6155/6205, and strengthened against the Singapore dollar to 3.0221/0255 from yesterday’s close of 3.0276/0303.
The ringgit appreciated vis–a–vis the yen to 3.7991/7031 from 3.8087/8119 yesterday. — Bernama