Ringgit little changed against US dollar at opening


KUALA LUMPUR – The ringgit opened little changed against the US dollar today amid positive United States (US) economic data, an analyst said.

At 9am, the local currency was marginally higher at 4.2200/2250 against the greenback from 4.2240/2250 at Thursday’s close.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the US unemployment insurance claims declined to 187,000 for the week ended March 19 compared to 215,000 in the previous week, suggesting a healthy labour market condition.

“The US Purchasing Managers’ Index and several other European economies are fairly decent with the benchmark index remaining above the 50-point threshold.

“This indicates that the manufacturers are most optimistic about the future outlook although the military conflict presents an additional challenging in the operating environment,” he told Bernama today.

In brief, Mohd Afzanizam said the US interest rate is going to be higher and this will support the value of its currency, which has indicated that the US Dollar Index (DXY) rising 0.17 per cent to 98.789 points.

From the technical charts point of view, the ringgit versus the US dollar appears to be already in an oversold situation, he said.

“The ringgit should linger at RM4.22 as the downside risks seems to be quite limited at the current juncture,” Mohd Afzanizam said.

At the opening, the ringgit was traded mostly mixed against a basket of major currencies.

The local unit rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.1091/1130 from 3.1107/1119 on Thursday and  improved versus the Japanese yen to 3.4576/4620 from 3.4714/4725.

However, it inched down against the British pound to 5.5653/5719 from 5.5651/5664 and declined against the euro to 4.6454/6509  from Thursday’s close of 4.6426/6437.