Ringgit extends downtrend to open lower vs greenback as oil declines and US raises interest rates

THE ringgit extended its downtrend to open lower against the greenback today, weighed by declining oil prices and after the US central bank delivered a steep interest rate hike.

At 9am, the local currency fell to 4.5665/5700 against the greenback from 4.5520/5550 at yesterday’s close.

The benchmark Brent crude oil price fell 0.5% to US$89.38 (RM409) per barrel.

Oil prices continued to slide on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve (Fed) hiked interest rates by 75 basis points to a range of 3% to 3.25% — the highest level since 2008.

“Oil prices were already trending down ahead of the (Fed) meeting and continued to decline further after the rate hike announcement as higher interest rates would translate to a stronger dollar,” said a dealer.

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

It rose against the Japanese yen to 3.1622/1650 from 3.1633/1656 at yesterday’s close and inched up versus the Singapore dollar to 3.2168/2197 from 3.2217/2243 previously.

The local note appreciated against the British pound to 5.1277/1317 from 5.1629/1663 on Wednesday and rose vis-a-vis the euro to 4.4825/4859 from 4.5197/5227 previously. — Bernama / Pic by Muhd Amin Naharul