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Malaysia

Ringgit remains steady against US dollar

Image Credits: UnsplashImage Credits: Unsplash
  • The Malaysian Ringgit opened little changed against the US Dollar, reflecting market stability.
  • Monetary policies from Bank Negara Malaysia and the US Federal Reserve significantly influence the Ringgit's performance.
  • Global economic conditions, commodity prices, and tourism recovery are crucial factors for the Ringgit's future outlook.

The Malaysian Ringgit opened little changed against the US Dollar on June 7, 2024, maintaining a level of stability that has been observed in recent weeks. This performance comes amid a complex backdrop of global economic conditions and monetary policies that continue to shape the forex market.

The ringgit remained relatively stable against the US dollar at the start of the day, as investors were waiting for new information to guide their actions. This statement underscores the cautious sentiment prevailing in the market as traders and investors look for new economic data and policy signals to guide their decisions.

Factors Influencing the Ringgit's Performance

Monetary Policies

One of the primary factors influencing the Ringgit's performance is the monetary policy stance of both Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the US Federal Reserve. BNM has maintained its Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) at 3%, a level that aims to balance economic growth and inflation. On the other hand, the US Federal Reserve's recent dovish pivot, where it signaled a potential pause in rate hikes, has also played a role in stabilizing the Ringgit.

Global Economic Conditions

The global economic outlook remains a significant determinant of currency performance. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected a slowdown in global growth to 2.9% in 2024 from 3% in 2023. This deceleration, coupled with China's economic performance, has implications for the Ringgit. A more stable Chinese economy and renminbi are expected to reduce downward pressure on the Ringgit.

Commodity Prices and Tourism

Commodity prices and tourism are also crucial to Malaysia's economic health and, by extension, the Ringgit's strength. The stabilization of commodity prices in 2023 and the continued recovery of the tourism sector are positive signs. As Lee from OCBC Bank notes, "continued tourism recovery should help with net services balance".

Market Sentiment and Future Outlook

Market sentiment remains cautious as traders await new data and policy announcements. The Ringgit's future performance will likely hinge on several factors, including the pace and extent of US Federal Reserve rate cuts, global economic trends, and domestic economic policies.

Christopher Wong, an FX strategist at OCBC Bank, expects the Ringgit's performance to improve modestly in 2024, driven by a more stable global economic environment and supportive domestic factors. However, significant appreciation to levels seen in the past, such as RM3.80 to the US Dollar, is unlikely in the near term.

The Malaysian Ringgit's steady performance against the US Dollar reflects a period of relative stability in the forex market. Influenced by a mix of global economic conditions, monetary policies, and domestic economic factors, the Ringgit's future trajectory will depend on how these elements evolve. As the market awaits fresh leads, the cautious sentiment is likely to persist, guiding the Ringgit's performance in the coming months.

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