Ringgit Opens Lower Against US Dollar

The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar for the second consecutive day this week as the greenback gained strength vis-a-vis other currencies, said an analyst.

At 9.32am, the ringgit depreciated to 4.6835/6880 versus the greenback from Monday’s close of 4.6670/6745.

SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes said there is likely some demand for safe haven US dollar given the elevated geopolitical concern in the Middle East, the United States and China.

He added that the market is also watching out for policy cues from US Federal Reserve speakers this week on a possible push back on a March interest rate cut given the persistence of sticky inflation.

“Trading is weaker on the back of no rate cut from China, which is bad for growth. So there’s a bit of a double negative on the policy front,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said there seems to be a risk-off mode at present with China was reportedly having gone into a deflationary trend with its consumer price index recording negative print for three consecutive months.

At the same time, the People’s Bank of China surprised the market by not cutting its benchmark interest rate while the US dollar gained strength against the major currencies including the euro and British pound, he added.

“Following this, the ringgit continued to depreciate against the US dollar, piercing its immediate resistance level yesterday at RM4.6611. The local note was hovering at RM4.6840 as at 8.52am, weakening by 0.28 per cent from yesterday’s closing,” he told Bernama.

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

It was easier versus the euro to 5.1158/1207 from 5.1076/1158 at Monday’s close, weaker vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.9443/9500 from 5.9388/9483 yesterday, and went down against the Japanese yen to 3.2103/2316 from 3.2029/2085 previously.

The ringgit was mostly lower against Asean currencies.

The local note strengthened against the Thai baht to 13.3406/3580 from 13.3518/3802 on Monday, but decreased against the Singapore dollar to 3.5051/5087 from 3.4982/5041 yesterday, depreciated versus the Indonesian rupiah to 301.0/301.5 from 299.9/300.6, and fell vis-à-vis the Philippine peso to 8.38/8.39 from 8.36/8.38. — Bernama

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