ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Malaysian ringgit to remain strong
The ringgit's performance next week will likely be affected by US Purchasing Managers Index data which measures US industrial activity and the unemployment rate, RAM Holding Bhd's economist Jason Fong told Bernama on Saturday.
On the local front, Bank Negara is expected to release its foreign reserves report on Thursday while export and trade balance data are due the next day.
Meanwhile, Hong Leong Bank Bhd forecast, in its weekly economic research note, said the ringgit would maintain its gradual appreciation trajectory towards the year-end supported by foreign demand for higher yielding Asian currencies and strong local growth.
"Trade numbers to be released next week should be encouraging amid government forecast of about 7 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth this year," said the bank.
Early this week, the ringgit hit a fresh 13-year high against the US dollar since the local unit was pegged at 3.80 under capital control measures introduced during the 1997 financial crisis.
On Wednesday the Thai baht and the Malaysian ringgit hit their highest levels since the 1997 Asian currency crisis while the Singapore dollar rose to an all-time high.
On a weekly basis, the ringgit closed higher at 3.0855/0880 compared with last week's close of 3.0900/0930.
Against the British pound, the ringgit appreciated to 4.7869/8818 from 4.8460/8526 but declined against the euro to 4.2339/2386 from 4.1335/1381.
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