Ringgit opens slightly higher against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened marginally higher against the US dollar today amid mixed United States (US) economic signals, said an analyst.

At 9 am, the ringgit rose to 4.6940/6970 versus the greenback from Wednesday's close of 4.6970/6985.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the US labour market continued to flash further weaknesses with the ADP Employment Change falling short of expectations to 152,000 in May versus consensus estimates of 188,000.

Earlier, it was reported that ISM Services purchasing managers index for May recovered to 53.8, exceeding market expectations of 50.8.

"Meanwhile, the latest rate cut by the Bank of Canada by 25 basis points appears to have boosted the appeal of the US dollar given the US Federal Reserve (Fed) is not about to reduce the Fed Funds Rate too soon.

"As such, the ringgit could stay in tight range today as the highly anticipated Nonfarm Payroll will be published tomorrow while the markets prepare for the upcoming Federal Open Market Committee meeting next week," he told Bernama.

The ringgit traded easier against a basket of major currencies.

The local unit edged down against the euro to 5.1085/1117 from 5.1070/1087 at Wednesday's close, decreased versus the Japanese yen to 3.0173/0194 from 3.0099/0111 and slipped vis-a-vis the British pound to 6.0093/0131 from 6.0040/0023 previously.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was mostly lower against its ASEAN peers.

It fell against the Thai baht to 12.8321/8453 from 12.7994/8091 at yesterday's close, slightly lower versus the Singapore dollar to 3.4858/4883 from 3.4857/4871, and slid versus the Philippine peso to 8.00/8.01 from 7.99/7.99.

The local note improved slightly against the Indonesian rupiah to 288.2/288.5 from 288.3/288.6 at yesterday's close.

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