The ringgit continue its weakness against the US dollar as plunging crude prices and a money scandal involving Prime Minister Najib Razak damp the economic outlook for the South East Asian nation.
Based on the current global economics, analysts are predicting more weakness in 2016 for Asia’s worst-performing currency in 2015. These analysts believed as the Federal Reserve continues to increase interest rates in U.S. and slowdown in China weaken demand for commodities from the region, Malaysia net oil income that constitute about 22 percent of government revenue would be affected the more.
The ringgit sank 19 percent to 4.2923 a dollar on Thursday, after reaching 17 year low, 4.48, in September. It is expected to drop additional 2.4 percent to 4.4 by end of Q4 2016, according to survey compiled by Bloomberg.
“The rapid decline in oil prices, the dollar’s bullish bias and domestic issues were the main factors driving the ringgit’s weakness in 2015,” said Christopher Wong, a Singapore-based senior currency analyst at Malayan Banking Bhd. “While challenges remain, we see limited weakness in the ringgit in 2016.”
As foreign investors becomes wary of the situation, around 663 million ringgit of Malaysian shares was sold in December, according to a report from MIDF Amanah Investment Bank. Making total sales this year 19.2 billion ringgit. Malaysia foreign exchange reserves stood at $94.9 billion as of December 15, after declining 18 percent this year.
Also, 10-year government bonds increased 12 basis points to 4.20 percent, while that on five year notes lost 36 basis points.