Ringgit opens higher versus US dollar as ‘stars align’ for local currency

This is as the greenback continues its easing on the expectation of US Fed will be less hawkish on its monetary policy

THE ringgit opened higher against the US dollar today as the greenback continued its easing on the expectation that the US Federal Reserve (Fed) will be less hawkish on its monetary policy after softer inflation data there, analysts said.

At 9am, the local note improved to 4.6120/6265 against the US dollar from last Friday’s close of 4.6200/6250.

SPI Asset Management MD Stephen Innes said Asia foreign exchange currencies, like the ringgit, are now rallying as the market thinks the Fed will be less hawkish, hence short-term future US rates are easing.

And at the same time, he noted that global equity markets have remained firm, suggesting there will be less demand for safe-haven US dollars.

“But importantly for the ringgit over the past week, signs have emerged onshore that Chinese officials are preparing to unwind the zero-Covid policy.

“This policy pivot will help limit downside fears of a protracted China economic slump, hence commodity prices (will be favourable) for the ringgit.

“The stars are finally aligning for the ringgit,” he told Bernama. 

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

It fell vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.3118/3229 from 3.3047/3088 last Friday and weakened against the euro to 4.7656/7806 from 4.7471/7522.

The local currency depreciated versus the British pound to 5.4412/4583 from Friday’s close 5.4322/4381 and eased against the Singapore dollar to 3.3591/3701 from 3.3527/3568 previously. — Bernama