KUALA LUMPUR— The ringgit is expected to rally next week on positive sentiment from the 2017 Budget announcement, a dealer said.

Forex Time Research Analyst Lukman Otunuga said the 2017 Budget uplifted sentiment on Malaysia’s economy as it offered some clarity on how the nation would tackle the new year.

“The key topics revolved around government spending to accelerate growth, boost investments for small andK midcap businesses, and reduce the budget deficit.

“Malaysia remains on a quest to reclaiming economic stability and as such, had displayed within the budget a theme to bolster unity and economic growth,” he said.

He said falling commodity prices and a resurgent dollar continued to pressure most emerging nations, but Malaysia had displayed resilience with gross domestic product growth predicted at between four and five per cent in 2017.

“With inflation predicted to rise to the upper limit of three per cent in 2017 and exports 2.7 per cent, the overall outlook for Malaysia looks quite encouraging,” he said.

On a Friday-to-Friday basis, the local note strengthened against the greenback to 4.1830/1890 from 4.1980/2050.

The ringgit also ended mostly higher against a basket of currencies.

It appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.0027/0078 from 3.0247/0302 last Friday, but eased against the yen to 4.0279/0341 from 4.0230/0301.

The ringgit strengthened against the British pound to 5.1158/1248 against the previous week’s 5.1249/1339 and improved against the euro to 4.5595/5677 from 4.6245/6331.

— Bernama