A 0.2 percent increase in the nation’s foreign-exchange reserves to $94.7 billion in the last two weeks of August failed to bring any reprieve for the ringgit.
The ringgit registered its historical low against the United States dollar of 4.7125 in January 1998, during the Asian financial crisis. While the unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low, non-farm payrolls numbers missed estimates.
Most emerging Asian currencies rose on Tuesday as a strong rebound in China’s stocks reduced risk aversion, though persisting concerns about the world’s second-largest economy limited gains in regional units.
As at 5pm yesterday, the ringgit depreciated 1.64% against the U.S. dollar to close at 4.3300 after it hit an intra-day low of 4.3405.
The Malaysian ringgit fell to a new low of 3.0566 against the Singapore dollar on Tuesday (Sep 8), hurt by slumping oil prices and concerns about the Chinese economy.
He said by telephone that the depreciation of the currency was manageable for the sovereign, banks and rated corporates, although it indicated a weakening environment. China has revised its annual economic growth rate in 2014 to 7.3 percent from the previously released figure of 7.4 percent, the National Bureau of Statistics said. China is a major market for other Asian countries. Malaysia pegged the ringgit at 3.8000 from 1998 to 2005. Bank Negara Malaysia may not need to spend as much as before to support the ringgit because market liquidity was thin, traders added.
The ringgit came under renewed pressure on Monday from a decline in Brent crude and the narrowing in the oil-exporter’s trade surplus.
“Dollar bids were smaller than expected and there was a market talk that we may not see more demand”, said a foreign bank trader in Seoul. The South Korean currency pared some of earlier losses as the foreign exchange authorities were spotted selling dollars to slow down the won’s weakness, traders said. Still, the won is likely to weaken further, traders and analysts said.