Ringgit little changed against US dollar at opening


KUALA LUMPUR – The ringgit opened little changed against the US dollar today amid expectations of a stronger US dollar due to a potentially sharp increase in the US Federal Fund Rate in March, an analyst said.

At 9 am, the local currency was marginally higher at 4.1860/1890 versus the greenback from Monday’s close of 4.1885/1920.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the US dollar index (DXY) has risen by 0.22 per cent to 96.293 points.

“A US Federal Reserve official has maintained his hawkish stance by saying the Fed should front load its monetary tightening move, a sign that 50 basis points increment in the upcoming meeting is a foregone conclusion,” he told Bernama.

Following that, Mohd Afzanizam said the ringgit should stay in a narrow range as elevated levels of Brent crude oil prices could put a lid on weaker ringgit.

He anticipated that the ringgit will continue linger around RM4.19 today.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded mixed against other major currencies.

It increased vis-a-vis Japanese yen to 3.6277/6306 from 3.6415/6449 Monday’s close and appreciated to 4.7348/7382 from 4.7372//7416 compared with the euro.

The local note depreciated against Singapore dollar to 3.1081/1106 from 3.1074/1105 and fell against the British pound to 5.6683/6723 from 5.6603/6651.