Ringgit opens marginally lower on continued support for US dollar

At 9.01am, the local note eased to 4.1910/1935 versus the greenback from 4.1925/1950 at yesterday’s close. — Reuters pic
At 9.01am, the local note eased to 4.1910/1935 versus the greenback from 4.1925/1950 at yesterday’s close. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 — The ringgit opened slightly lower against the US dollar on Friday as mixed signals from the equity market continues to support the greenback, an analyst said.

At 9.01am, the local note eased to 4.1910/1935 versus the greenback from 4.1925/1950 at yesterday’s close.

Speaking to Bernama, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the sell-off in the US equities suggests that market participants have become increasingly wary over the prospect of higher interest rates.

The 10-year US Treasury note yield was also down to 1.78 per cent, indicating that the investors may have shifted to risk-free assets to seek protection against marker volatility.

He said such risk-off mode clearly benefitting the US dollar with US Dollar Index (DXY) rising to 95.735 points.

“Following this, the ringgit/US dollar is expected to lean on weaker trajectory today.

“Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) Monetary Policy Committee kept the overnight policy rate (OPR) unchanged at 1.75 per cent, indicating that BNM is not in a hurry to raise OPR and implying that ringgit could stay soft in the immediate terms,” he said.

Overall, the local note was traded mostly higher against a basket of other major currencies.

The ringgit ended higher versus the euro to 4.7371/7405 from 4.7521/7555 at Thursday’s close and rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.1097/1124 from 3.1103/1130.

The local note appreciated against the British pound to 5.6931/6971 from 5.7066/7107 yesterday but dropped against the Japanese yen to 3.6831/6861 from 3.6640/6670. — Bernama

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