Singapore markets open in 8 hours 21 minutes
  • Straits Times Index

    +8.49 (+0.26%)
  • S&P 500

    +6.17 (+0.12%)
  • Dow

    +134.21 (+0.34%)
  • Nasdaq

    -12.35 (-0.07%)
  • Bitcoin USD

    -121.81 (-0.18%)
  • CMC Crypto 200

    -11.55 (-0.84%)
  • FTSE 100

    -18.39 (-0.22%)
  • Gold

    +34.30 (+1.44%)
  • Crude Oil

    +0.77 (+0.97%)
  • 10-Yr Bond

    +0.0430 (+0.98%)
  • Nikkei

    -132.88 (-0.34%)
  • Hang Seng

    +177.08 (+0.91%)
  • FTSE Bursa Malaysia

    +5.51 (+0.34%)
  • Jakarta Composite Index

    +70.54 (+0.97%)
  • PSE Index

    -9.51 (-0.14%)

Ringgit’s drop toward 26-year low spurs BNM to pledge support

Malaysian hundred ringgit banknotes at a currency exchange store in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Friday, March. 1, 2024.
Malaysian hundred ringgit banknotes at a currency exchange store in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Friday, March. 1, 2024. (Bloomberg)

By Marcus Wong

(Bloomberg) — Malaysia’s central bank reaffirmed it’s ready to support the ringgit, which is hovering close to the lowest level since 1998.

Bank Negara Malaysia will ensure the “orderly functioning of the foreign exchange market” with support from government-linked firms, corporations and exporters to attract flows and liquidity into the market, according to a statement from the central bank released Monday.


The ringgit slipped as much as 0.2% to 4.78 per dollar on Monday, putting it within a whisker of the Feb. 21 low of 4.8053, which was the weakest since January 1998. Still, the ringgit is outperforming regional peers such as the South Korean won, Philippine peso and Taiwan dollar so far on Monday.


The ringgit had pulled back from its February lows after BNM announced in early March it would encourage state-linked firms to repatriate foreign investment income and convert it into the local currency more consistently.

Malaysia’s currency has been dragged down by broad strength in the dollar amid bets the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates higher for longer, and from haven flows triggered by escalating Middle East tensions. The sluggish economic outlook for China, Malaysia’s largest trading partner, has also weighed on the ringgit.

The country isn’t alone. Investors are watching for signs of further intervention from many emerging-market central banks — including China, Korea, Thailand, Poland and Indonesia — all of which have seen their local currencies pummeled by the recent dollar rally.

Nonetheless, elevated oil prices may provide a tailwind to the net oil exporting economy. Brent oil prices are rising toward the $100 per barrel level, and that may provide some support to the Malaysian currency, Bloomberg Intelligence’s Stephen Chiu wrote in a note. Brent was hovering around $90 per barrel on Monday.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.