KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24 — The ringgit ended lower versus the US dollar today as investors await the outcome from the United States (US) Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting later this week.

Risk appetites waned on the expectation that the FOMC would take a more aggressive stance on policy tightening at its January meeting, dealers said.

At 6pm, the local note eased to 4.1870/1905 versus the greenback from 4.1840/1870 at the close last Friday.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid told Bernama that the regional equities sell-off indicates that the market is on a risk-off mode due to the possible interest rate hike in the US.

“Based on the interest rate futures contract, the Federal Reserve is almost 100 per cent sure to raise the benchmark interest rate during its meeting in March.

“Following this, the US dollar Index (DXY) rose to 95.766 points (at the time of writing) from 95.642 points in the previous week. As such, we expect the weaker ringgit trend to persist this week,” he said.

Meanwhile, the local note was traded mixed against a basket of other major currencies.

The ringgit improved versus the euro to 4.7422/7462 from 4.7434/7468 at last Friday’s close and appreciated against the British pound to 5.6629/6677 from 5.6764/6805 previously.

However, it fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.1146/1175 from 3.1096/1121 last Friday and slipped against the Japanese yen to 3.6854/6888 from 3.6715/6741. — Bernama