Ringgit rises vs major currencies, except USD 

THE ringgit opened higher against major currencies, except the US dollar this morning, said an analyst.

At 9 am, the local note was marginally lower at 4.6535/6570 against the greenback from 4.6435/6485 at Thursday’s close.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance head Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said technically, the ringgit has been in the oversold position for quite some time.

“Therefore, some correction can be expected. For example, the ringgit could intermittently strengthen especially when data points reveal some weakness in the global economy. 

“The latest global purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the manufacturing sector in July was at 48.7 points, which is below than 50-point demarcation line, showing that more businesses around the globe have become pessimistic,” he told Bernama.

At the same time, he noted that investors are waiting for United States (US) Federal Reserve (Fed) chair, Jerome Powell’s speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium tonight which is expected to shed more light on the US monetary policy direction.

“It does feel that the Fed is unlikely to provide a clear message despite data points hinting that a shift in monetary policy stance is quite possible. 

“On that note, the ringgit should linger around RM4.64-RM4.65 versus the US dollar,” he said. 

During the opening session, the local note improved against the Japanese yen to 3.1865/1891 from 3.1932/1968 at yesterday’s close, increased versus the euro to 5.0230/0268 from 5.0373/0427 and edged up against the British pound to 5.8578/8622 from 5.8829/8892 previously. 

Conversely, the local note traded lower against other Asean currencies, but was almost flat against the Singapore dollar at 3.4298/4326 from 3.4292/4332 at Thursday’s close. 

It depreciated vis-a-vis the Thai baht to 13.2749/2905 from 13.2645/2848  at the close yesterday, weakened against the Indonesian rupiah to 305.1/305.5 from 304.5/305.0 previously and decreased against the Philippines’ peso to 8.19/8.21 from 8.17/8.19 on Thursday.  — BERNAMA / pic BLOOMBERG