Ringgit inches up amid positive World Bank projection

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened slightly higher against the US dollar today due to local factors following reports that the World Bank has predicted Malaysia would sustain growth and achieve high-income status between 2020 and 2024.

At 9am, the local currency stood at 4.1430/1480 against 4.1450/1490 recorded at Thursday’s closing.

A dealer said the World Bank projects Malaysia’s economy to grow at 4.9% due to strong growth in private consumption, which shows the country’s sound economic foundation.

However, as an emerging market, the ringgit’s performance is influenced by external factors.

“Oil prices, trade tensions and the US economy are the three major influences on our currency at the moment,” she told Bernama.

Benchmark Brent crude fell from US$86.13 (RM357.11) per barrel at close yesterday to US$84.94 at 9am today.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly lower against other major currencies.

It increased against the Singapore dollar to 2.9993/3.0036 from 3.0023/0059 on Thursday and slid versus the Japanese yen to 3.6326/6380 from yesterday’s 3.6252/6296.

The local note went down against the euro to 4.7690/7764 from 4.7647/7705 on Thursday, and fell against the British pound to 5.3958/4040 from 5.3802/3871 on Thursday.