KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit ended higher against the greenback today as forex traders awaited the release of the US nonfarm payrolls (NFP) data later tonight, which will provide further clarity on the interest rate outlook of the US.
Meanwhile, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Afzanizam Rashid said consensus estimates have pegged the NFP at 180,000 jobs for November, which is higher compared to October, with the US unemployment rate anticipated to remain unchanged at 3.9%.
“The US labour markets are showing signs of fatigue in light of the recent Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey report which showed that demand for labour is waning,” he told Bernama.
Additionally, Afzanizam said that the latest US Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data showed US factory activity remained subdued.
“Most businesses have been complaining about slowing demand and the need to reduce their inventory levels,” he noted.
At 6pm, the ringgit rose to 4.6625/4.6665 against the greenback from yesterday’s close of 4.6720/4.6765.
At the close, the ringgit was traded mostly higher versus a basket of major currencies.
It was higher against the British pound at 5.8542/5.8593 from 5.8802/5.8858 at yesterday’s close and improved vis-a-vis the euro to 5.0243/5.0286 from 5.0359/5.0408 yesterday.
However, the ringgit fell against the Japanese yen to 3.2307/3.2337 from 3.2243/3.2276 previously.
Meanwhile, the ringgit traded higher against other Asean currencies.
It appreciated versus the Philippine peso to 8.41/8.43 from 8.45/8.46 yesterday, increased against the Thai baht to 13.1933/13.2094 from 13.2803/13.3014, rose marginally versus the Singapore dollar to 3.4818/3.4853 from 3.4884/3.4920, and strengthened against the Indonesian rupiah to 300.4/300.8 from 301.0/301.5 previously.