Ringgit opens easier against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opens lower against the US dollar on Thursday as the greenback remained firm while local market players await the release of Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) overnight policy rate (OPR) announcement later today, analysts said.

At 9.01 am, the ringgit eased to 4.7445/7470 versus the US dollar from yesterday's close of 4.7390/7440.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid told Bernama that the US Dollar Index (DXY) continued to rise to 105.546 points, up 0.1 per cent.

"Amidst no significant data to make economic deduction on where the rates will go, comments from the US Federal Reserve's (Fed) officials will be the major guidance, and in so far, the Fed (officials) have been consistent in their messaging that inflation is still their ultimate concern.

"The Fed Reserve Bank of Boston president Susan Collins indicated that interest rates will likely need stay high for a protracted period in order to suppress demand and lower the price pressures," he said. 

On that note, the ringgit is likely to stay weak with technical readings pointing that the local currency is near an overbought position, said Mohd Afzanizam.

"Today's focus will be on the BNM's Monetary Policy Committee meeting decision. All economists are expecting the OPR to remain unchanged at 3.00 per cent.

"It is interesting to see BNM's latest assessment on inflation in light of the recent policy changes, namely the flexible withdrawal from retirement funds and salary adjustment for the civil servants," he added.

Meanwhile, ActivTrades trader Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz said the US dollar held steady against the ringgit early on Thursday, marking a clear trend of indecision among traders especially given the lack of macroeconomic indicators.

"From a technical point of view, the USD/MYR is at an important support region, characterised by the rising trend line on the daily chart.

"If the ringgit manages to break below the 4.7300 level, it is possible that it could fall as low as 4.6750 in a few days. On the other hand, a break above the 4.7500 level could see USD/MYR rise towards the 4.7900 region," he told Bernama.

The ringgit traded mostly easier against a basket of major currencies, except against the Japanese yen.

It rose versus the Japanese yen to 3.0484/0502 from Wednesday's close of 3.0495/0530, weakened vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.9254/9285 from 5.9209/9272 yesterday and fell against the euro to 5.0970/0997 from 5.0954/1007 previously.

The local note also traded mostly lower against ASEAN currencies.

The ringgit depreciated against the Thai baht to 12.8299/8408 from Wednesday's 12.8188/8383, slipped versus the Singapore dollar to 3.4984/5005 from 3.4956/4996, and dropped against the Indonesian rupiah at 295.6/295.9 from 295.2/295.7.

The local note was flat vis-a-vis the Philippine peso at 8.26/8.27. - Bernama

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