KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit breached 3.96 against the US dollar at noon and prospects are bright for the currency to test the 3.95 level, any time soon, supported by the country’s bright prospects with the release of better-than-expected Industrial Production Index (IPI) data.

At 3.9690/9720 against the US dollar, it gained 160 basis points, versus 3.9850/9900 at the close yesterday. The last time the local note appreciated close to this level was in May 2016.

A dealer said sentiment towards the ringgit was lifted when Malaysia’s IPI data rebounded to register a five per cent growth in November, pushing the full year IPI to 4.7 per cent and potentially signalling a solid Gross Domestic Product for the fourth quarter of 2017.

He said the ringgit also benefitted from the Brent crude which closed above US$70 a barrel yesterday, the highest since December 2014, hence improving the country’s oil and gas revenue.

The local note also found strength in the greenback’s weakness following the release of US  producer prices data, which fell for the first time in nearly one and a half years in December, prompting the US Federal Reserve to be more cautious of raising interest rates this year.

“Taking into account all of these factors, the ringgit will likely appreciate to 3.95 against the US dollar in the short-term,” he added. – Bernama


Business, TextNews

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