KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — The ringgit opened slightly lower against the US dollar as the greenback gained momentum ahead of the United States (US) October’s Retail Sales data which is expected to rise to 0.7 per cent month-on-month, based on consensus estimates, said an analyst.

At 9am, the local note fell to 4.1630/1655 versus the greenback from 4.1600/1630 at yesterday’s close.

Meanwhile, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the 10-year US Treasury yield has surpassed the 1.60 per cent level, suggesting that the bond market is anticipating that the rate hike cycle could commence in 2022.

“Besides that, the US Dollar Index (DXY) has risen to more than 95 points since last week following the sharp increase in consumer’s inflation rate, which rose to 6.2 per cent year-on-year in October,” he told Bernama.

Given the current scenario, Mohd Afzanizam expects the local note to stay weak for the day, trading within the range of RM4.16-RM4.17.

“Should the US Retail Sales data turn out to be better than expected today, the dollar could stay elevated as it bolsters the case for an earlier rate hike by the US Federal Reserve,” he said.

Meanwhile, the local note traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies, except against the British pound where it had depreciated to 5.5847/5880 from 5.5794/5834 at yesterday’s close.

The ringgit increased vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.6460/6482 from 3.6543/6569 at the close on Monday, jumped versus the euro to 4.7350/7378 from 4.7620/7654 previously, and rose against the Singapore dollar at 3.0769/0792 from 3.0790/0814 yesterday. — Bernama