Ringgit opens higher against greenback

by BERNAMA / pic by BLOOMBERG

KUALA LUMPUR – The ringgit opened slightly higher against the US dollar today despite positive expectations of the United States (US) improving data points.

At 9 am, the local note rose to 4.1630/1660 versus the greenback from 4.1645/1665 at Friday’s close.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the key data points to watch for would be the US Retail Sales that would be announced on Tuesday.

“Should retail sales turn out to be better than expected, it would lead to higher US dollar as it will bolster the expectation of higher Federal Fund Rate,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, he said the weaker-than-expected gross domestic product (GDP) would mean the accommodative monetary stance by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) would likely stay for quite a while.

“Therefore, the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) could remain steady in the near term despite talks of higher inflation globally,” he explained.

As such, he believes the ringgit should trade within the range of RM4.16 to RM4.17 today. 

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies except for the Japanese yen in which it increased to 3.6467/65014 from 3.6521/6550 at Friday’s close.

However, the local note depreciated vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.5872/5912 from 5.5783/5810 previously, narrowed against the Singapore dollar at 3.0789/0814 from 3.0757/0776, and fell versus the euro to 4.7650/7684 from 4.7646/7669.