Singapore dollar falls to near 6-month low against Malaysian ringgit

SINGAPORE: The Singapore dollar fell to a near six-month low against the Malaysian ringgit on Thursday (Feb 14), as the Malaysian currency strengthened amid the country's announcement that economic growth rose in the fourth quarter.

The Singdollar fell to an intraday low of RM2.9912 before rising back up to RM2.9966, according to Bloomberg data.

This is the lowest since the Singapore dollar touched RM2.9901 on Aug 21 last year.

The Singapore currency fell below the RM3 mark last Friday for the first time since October last year.

The ringgit edged higher after Malaysia on Thursday reported economic growth rose in the fourth quarter - in line with expectations - after four quarters of slowing growth, as resilient exports helped shore up growth amid a slowdown in global demand from the US-China trade war.

Southeast Asia's third-largest economy expanded 4.7 per cent in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, up from 4.4 per cent in the third quarter.

Before GDP figures were announced, a dealer said that the numbers would indicate the stability of the country's economy and its future.

"The numbers will also indicate the stability of the nation's economy, its economic fundamentals as well as its future," he said.

He added that he believed the ringgit could go higher by the end of the month.

"With a good GDP data and strong economic fundamentals coupled with positive external factors, I believed the ringgit can go higher to 4.03 to 4.04 (against the US dollar) by end of the month," he said.

Most emerging Asian currencies edged lower against a broadly stronger US dollar on Thursday, as investors eyed the latest round of high-level trade talks between the United States and China for signs of progress in de-escalating a tariff war.

Market participants steered away from risk across Asia while waiting to see what comes out of the talks in Beijing this week, with a Mar 1 deadline for a deal looming.

Wei Liang Chang, a FX strategist at Mizuho Bank, said markets were cautious over the chances of a quick agreement on structural issues with regard to intellectual property rights and market access, and Chang believed an extension of the deadline was likely.

Source: CNA