Ringgit strengthens, FBM KLCI jumps after Mahathir's comment

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 22): The ringgit appreciated to its strongest level to the US dollar so far today at 3.9978, after Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he sees fair value of the ringgit against the greenback at 3.8. The FBM KLCI rose.

In currency markets, the ringgit was traded at 4.0005 against the US dollar at 3:17pm. The exchange rate so far today was between 3.9978 and 4.0163.

At Bursa Malaysia, the FBM KLCI rose 7.19 points at 3:34pm to 1,699.51. The KLCI erased losses, after falling to its lowest so far today at 1,678.03.

Bloomberg reported Mahathir said the Malaysian ringgit’s fair value today is the same as the peg that his previous government established in 1998 in a controversial move during the Asian financial crisis.

Asked in an interview Friday as to where he saw the fair value for the ringgit, Bloomberg reported that Mahathir said “3.8.” 

“We would like to strengthen our ringgit, but it should be done naturally,” Mahathir told Bloomberg.