Strong 2Q GDP drives ringgit higher against US dollar

16 Aug 2019 / 20:13 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit rebounded sharply against the US dollar today as sentiment in the local market turned positive following stronger second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) results amidst external uncertainties.

At 6pm, the ringgit finished at 4.1760/1810 against the greenback from 4.1920/1950 yesterday.

“Despite some external uncertainties, with the US-China trade war still raging and political instability in Hong Kong, positive news from the local front like this (GDP results) is a boost to the market.

“Investors are cheering up the results,” a senior banker told Bernama.

Malaysia’s economy grew by 4.9% in the second quarter of 2019 from 4.5% in the first quarter on the back of higher household spending and private investment.

Announcing the results, Bank Negara Malaysia governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus said private sector activities remained the key driver of growth with domestic demand up by 4.6%, while private consumption expanded by 7.8%.

She said Malaysia’s growth accelerated despite global headwinds, supported by the recovery from commodity supply disruptions and improved performance in the manufacturing and construction sectors.

Against other major currencies, the ringgit also traded higher.

It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0097/0140 from 3.0173/0199 on Thursday, improved versus the Japanese yen to 3.9230/9288 from 3.9570/9609 and edged up against the euro to 4.6283/6346 from 4.6737/6787.

The local currency, however, depreciated vis-a-vis the pound to 5.0763/0828 from 5.0706/0760 as appetite for the British currency strengthened on the country’s latest political developments, with the cross-party government measures were being taken to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

The growing optimism over a substantial stimulus package by the European Central Bank also helped push British pound higher. — Bernama

email blast