Ringgit slips at start of trading, FOMC minutes in focus

THE ringgit slipped further against the US dollar on Wednesday as investors waited for more clarity about the United States (US) interest rate outlook. 

At 9 am, the ringgit fell to 4.6205/6250 versus the greenback from Tuesday’s close of 4.6035/6080.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said markets are awaiting the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes, which will be released tomorrow, to gather further conviction over a rate cut in 2024.

“Given that the ringgit is already at an overbought condition at the current juncture, we can expect some technical correction,” he said.

He noted that the US Dollar Index (DXY) climbed to 102 points despite the weak Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the US, which came in at 47.9 points in December versus consensus estimate of 48.2 points.

Nevertheless, the local note traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.

The ringgit strengthened vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.8362/8418 from 5.8524/8582 at Tuesday’s close and improved versus the euro to 5.0590/0639 from 5.0685/0734, but it depreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.2550/2584 from 3.2317/2552 .

The ringgit was traded lower against Asean currencies.

It fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.4840/4877 from 3.4793/4830 at yesterday’s close and slipped versus the Thai baht to 13.4913/5111 from 13.4838/5033 previously. 

The local currency edged up against the Indonesian rupiah to 298.6/299.1 from 297.5/298.0 yesterday and improved vis-à-vis the Philippine peso to 8.30/8.31 from 8.27/8.28. — BERNAMA / pic TMR FILE