Ringgit Opens Easier VS US Dollar

The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar on the first trading day of the month, and is expected to linger around the RM4.46-level today as market sentiments remain uncertain, a dealer said.

At 9am, the local note slipped to 4.4645/4680 versus the greenback from Friday’s closing rate of 4.4600/4645.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said traders are still divided on whether the United States (US) Federal Reserve might change its stance on the US monetary policy in the upcoming Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

He noted that markets would closely monitor the FOMC’s decision, with most economists projecting a 25-basis point hike.

“Apart from that, data points in the US continue to suggest that business sentiments are still weak. The ISM Index for the manufacturing sector rose slightly to 47.1 points in April but has been below the 50-point demarcation line for six months.

“This suggests that businesses in the US remain guarded which might impact their decision on hiring, thus many would be monitoring the Nonfarm Payroll data on Friday,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded mixed against a basket of major currencies.

It appreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.2488/2516 from 3.2770/2805 at the close last Friday and rose against the Philippine peso to 8.04/8.06 from 8.05/8.06 previously.

However, the local note opened marginally lower vis-a-vis the euro at 4.9034/9072 from 4.9011/9060 last Friday and eased versus the British pound to 5.5793/5837 from 5.5558/5614 previously.

The local note also traded easier against Asean currencies.

It weakened against the Indonesian rupiah to 304.2/304.5 from 303.9/304.3 last Friday, fell versus the Singapore dollar at 3.3409/3438 from 3.3351/3387 and declined against the Thai baht to 13.0656/0800 from 13.0612/0801 previously.

The market was closed yesterday for the Labour Day.

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