KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit appreciated against the Singapore dollar and hit a 14-month high of 2.9962/9002 as at 1pm today, touching the highest level last seen in October 2016.
The ringgit has not been able to break the psychological level of 3.0 versus the Singapore dollar since it opened at 2.9988/0035 on Oct 27, 2016.
Prior to that, the local note opened at 2.9823/9837 against the Singapore dollar on Oct 26, 2016 and closed at 2.9936/9983 on the same day.
Oanda Corp Head of Trading for Asia Pacific, Stephen Innes, told Bernama Malaysia’s strong export performance, on the back of buoyant global economic growth amid stronger crude oil prices, had fuelled the ringgit’s movements.
Last week, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry announced that Malaysia’s exports increased by 14.4 per cent to RM83.5 billion in November 2017, the highest monthly export value ever recorded since March 2017 due to higher demand for manufactured goods.
Besides, Innes said, with benchmark Brent crude oil price continued to rise to US$67.72 (US$1 = RM3.98) per barrel on Monday, the uptrend had provided greater benefits to Malaysia — the top oil exporter in the region.
“Also, as Malaysia is an exporter of base commodities while Singapore does not have any tangible commodity exports, this had further bolstered the ringgit’s performance,” he said.
Innes said Bank Negara Malaysia’s hint at a policy normalisation for this year, as well as continued cash inflows seen in the local equity market also led the ringgit to trade higher against a basket of major currencies, including the Singapore dollar.
At 4pm today, the local note continued its upward momentum to quote at 2.9983/0024 against the Singapore dollar, after opening at 3.0062/0102 from 3.0081/0123 on Friday. — BERNAMA