Ringgit lower vs US dollar in early trade

by BERNAMA / pic by TMR FILE 

KUALA LUMPUR –  The ringgit open marginally lower against the greenback today on worries over the United States (US) rate hike campaign to stabilise inflationary pressures, an analyst said.

At 9.00 am, the local currency declined to 4.2100/2130 versus the greenback from 4.2025/2060 at Monday’s close.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the US Dollar Index (DXY) rose 0.27 per cent to 98.49 points as the US Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell maintained a hawkish stance during his address to the National Association of Business Economics.

According to reports, Powell said the US central bank may become more aggressive in raising federal funds rate and could raise it by more than 25 basis points at its policy meetings to curb inflation.

“Such remarks have also been echoed by two Fed governors, Raphael Bostic and Thomas Barkin, which have bolstered the case for a faster rate hike this year,” he told Bernama.

At the same time, the risk-off sentiments prevailed as the military conflict in Ukraine has yet to recede with Russia continuing to attack Kyiv, Odesa and other locations, while the Ukrainian government refuse to surrender the embattled port city of Mariupol where intense fighting continued.

Therefore, Mohd Afzanizam said the ringgit could stay weak throughout the day, ranging between RM4.20 and RM4.21 today.

At the opening, the ringgit was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies, except versus the British pound, where it fell to 5.5307/5346 from 5.5250/5296 at Monday’s close.

The local unit strengthened against the Singapore dollar to 3.0960/0987 from 3.0992/1020 yesterday, advanced against the Japanese yen at 3.5092/5120 from 3.5247/5276 and was higher against the euro at 4.6251/6284 from 4.6463/6502 previously.