KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 — The ringgit opened slightly higher against the US dollar today ahead of Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, which is scheduled for tomorrow.

At 9.02am, the local note stood at 4.3820/3850 versus the greenback from Monday’s close of 4.3830/3870.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid expects BNM to keep the borrowing cost unchanged as the central bank would assess the country’s economy independently.

“The expected sharp increase in the US Federal Reserve (Fed) Fund Rate has led to a perception that other central banks would follow similar footsteps.

“While the Fed can be a trend setter for rates, but we think BNM would weigh various angle before they make any move,” he told Bernama.

Mohd Afzanizam said fears over global growth prospect following the anticipated aggressive monetary tightening by the Fed has taken a serious toll on global equity markets.

He said it was definitely a risk-off mode whereby investors were seeking refuge over the heightened uncertainties.

“We could see the 10-year US Treasury yield fell by about five basis points to 2.98 per cent at the moment while the US Dollar Index rose 0.08 per cent to 103.731 points,” he said.

Another analyst said the anticipation of stronger-than-expected gross domestic product (GDP) data in the first quarter of 2022, to be released on Friday, would spur sentiment in the market.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies.

The local note decreased versus the Japanese yen to 3.3739/3767 from Monday’s close of 3.3407/3440, eased against the euro to 4.6274/6306 from 4.6135/6178 and weakened vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.4030/4067 from 5.3972/4022.

However, the ringgit appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.1469/1495 from yesterday’s 3.1478/1509. — Bernama