Ringgit opens higher against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR – The ringgit continued to remain strong against the US dollar for the third consecutive day today as the weak greenback sentiment helped to spur appetite for emerging currencies, including the ringgit, dealers said.

At 9am, the local currency appreciated to 4.3950/3975 against the greenback from Thursday’s close of 4.4020/4045.

Bank Islam chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said talks of a possible global recession are gaining momentum with major central banks maintaining their stance to increase their monetary policy rate to bring down inflation.

“The Bank of England (BOE) appears to be playing catch up with the United States (US) Federal Reserve (Fed) as they decided to raise the Bank Rate by 25 basis points to 1.25%.

“Consequently, risky assets like equities tumbled while the US Treasury yields fell as investors sought for shelter against market volatility,” he told Bernama

Previously, the US Fed had announced the increase of its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points to between 1.50% and 1.75% at its Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on June 14-15 – the biggest hike since 1994.

“As for the US dollar/ringgit, it’s going to stay weak as demand for the safe haven greenback is expected to be prevalent following heightening concern over the global economic prospects,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies.

The local note declined against the British pound to 5.4173/4204 from Thursday’s close of 5.3396/3427, depreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.1733/1755 from 3.1687/1710 and went down vis-a-vis the euro to 4.6319/6345 from 4.5798/5824 previously. 

However, it strengthened versus the Japanese yen to 3.2998/3019 from 3.3128/3149 yesterday. – Bernama / pic Muhd Amin Naharul