KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 ― The ringgit bounced to 4.6800 versus the greenback at the opening today, a level last seen two months ago, as lower-than-expected US inflation data boosted hopes for an earlier interest rate cut in the United States.

At 9am, the ringgit strengthened to 4.6800/6850 against the greenback from Wednesday’s closing of 4.7050/7075.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the local note could linger at around the RM4.67 to RM4.68 level.

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“The ringgit is likely to perform well today as the US inflation rate is on track to go lower, with the latest print showing it decelerated to 3.4 per cent in April year on year from 3.5 per cent in March. The forex market is likely to be constructive as rate hike chances are slim and there is good progress on US inflation,” he added.

The ringgit traded easier at the opening against a basket of major currencies.

It depreciated further versus the Japanese yen to 3.0435/0470 from 3.0189/0207 at yesterday’s close, slid vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.9422/9485 from Wednesday’s close of 5.9391/9423 and fell against the euro to 5.0970/1024 from 5.0941/0968 previously.

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It traded mixed against Asean currencies.

The local currency traded against the Singapore dollar at 3.4858/4898 from 3.4873/4894 at Wednesday’s close and fell versus the Thai baht to 12.9128/9313 from 12.8735/8867 yesterday.

It improved vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 291.9/292.4 from 293.5/293.8 previously and gained against the Philippine peso to 8.16/8.17 from 8.17/8.19. ― Bernama