The ringgit extended last week’s downtrend to close lower against the US dollar today, nearing the all-time low of 4.725 recorded on January 7, 1998 as sentiment in the local market was influenced by the robust greenback.

At 6 pm, the ringgit fell to 4.7150/7185 against the US dollar from 4.7025/7065 at 6pm last Friday.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Firdaos Rosli said the ringgit remained on its downward trajectory amid the inflation outlook in the United States (US).

Last Thursday’s US inflation print climbed to 8.2 per cent on a year-on-year, along with the month-on-month basis by 0.4 per cent in September, which pretty much confirms the US Federal Reserve’s 75 basis points hike in the November 2022 meeting, he said.

“There was no let-up in the pressure on the ringgit when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had consented to his request to dissolve Parliament last Monday, paving the way for the 15th General Election within 60 days.

“We expect USD/MYR will trend between the RM4.71-4.73 range, breaching the all-time high set in the first week of January 1998,” he said.

Firdaos believed investors would keep a close eye on the US housing data, industrial production index, UK inflation and unemployment rate, as well as Malaysia’s Consumer Price Index.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies except for the Japanese yen.

The local note depreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.3053/3080 from 3.3009/3042 on Friday, fell versus the British pound to 5.3199/3239 from 5.2870/2915, and weakened against the euro to 4.5981/6015 from 4.5741/5780.

The ringgit, however, rose vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1712/1738 from 3.1836/1867 previously.