Ringgit opens lower against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar on Tuesday as most traders are eagerly awaiting the first Bank Negara Malaysia's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of this year, scheduled for today and tomorrow.

At 9:05 am, the ringgit depreciated to 4.7350/7400 against the greenback compared to Monday's close of 4.7280/7335.

SPI Asset Management managing director Stephen Innes said the primary focus for this week is central bank meetings across various regions, including in Malaysia, Japan, and the eurozone.

"While no significant alterations are expected in the monetary policies of developed markets, robust fourth-quarter (4Q) US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures might lead to a modest uptick in US interest rates, offering some support to the US dollar.

"Traders will be closely monitoring these developments to assess their impact on the ringgit and other currencies," he told Bernama.

Innes said that most traders are also closely observing forthcoming US macroeconomic data, including the 4Q GDP (expected on Jan 25) and the Personal Consumption Expenditures deflator (Jan 26).

"These figures could potentially shape expectations regarding a potential US interest rate reduction in March, which in turn could weaken the US dollar and bolster the ringgit," he added.

The ringgit was traded lower against a basket of major currencies

It slipped vis-à-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1972/2008 from 3.1918/1957 at Monday's close, slid against the British pound to 6.0196/0260 from 6.0065/0134 yesterday, and settled versus the euro to 5.1526/1581 from 5.1516/1576 previously.

Meanwhile, the local note was mostly lower against Asean currencies.

It went down against the Singapore dollar to 3.5291/5331 from 3.5252/5298 yesterday, eased versus the Thai baht to 13.2931/3131 from 13.2493/2706 previously, and dropped against the Indonesian rupiah to 302.7/303.2 from 302.3/302.8.

However, the ringgit was unchanged against the Philippine peso at 8.40/8.42. - Bernama

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