KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit climbed 1.8 per cent to its highest in over two months versus the US dollar on Thursday with the appointment of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister, thus easing the political uncertainty and the weak US dollar following the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) minutes.
At 6pm, the local note gained 815 percentage points to 4.4910/5000 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 per cent 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 US dollar holding into year-end,” he told Bernama.
Pakatan Harapan chairman Anwar was today sworn in as Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister at Istana Negara.
The appointment was finalised after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah deliberated the opinions of the Malay Rulers who convened a special meeting at Istana Negara today to make the best decision for the interests and well-being of the country and the people.
The market was also boosted by continued hope that price pressure has started to ease, with the 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, recognising 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.
The local note improved versus the Singapore dollar to 3.2678/2749 from 3.3053/3094 at Wednesday’s close, rose against the euro to 4.6792/6886 from 4.7202/7254 and appreciated versus the British pound to 5.4305/4414 from 5.4495/4555.
However, it fell vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.2412/2479 from 3.2344/2382 yesterday. – BERNAMA