Ringgit opens lower against US dollar

THE ringgit opened lower against the US dollar on a lack of catalysts, said dealers. 

At 9.36 am, the ringgit depreciated to 4.7075/7110 versus the greenback from Tuesday’s close of 4.6925/6965.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the risk-off mode will continue to prevail, leading to higher demand for the US dollar amid doubts on further rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve and tension in the Middle East.

He added that tension in the Middle East, especially in the Red Sea area, could disrupt global trade, resulting in demand for the US dollar.

Meanwhile, data points in focus this week would be the release of China’s fourth quarter 2023 economic growth and US December’s retail sales.

“At the current juncture, the US dollar/ringgit will continue to flirt around the RM4.70 level. The current support and resistant level stands at RM4.6611 and RM4.7958 respectively,” he told Bernama.

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

It was easier versus the euro to 5.1189/1227 from  5.1073/1117 at Tuesday’s close, weaker vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.9489/9533 from 5.9299/9350 yesterday, but went up against the Japanese yen to 3.1948/1974 from 3.2013/2043 previously.

The ringgit was mostly lower against Asean currencies.

The local note fell against the Thai baht to 13.2710/2858 from 13.2579/2748 on Tuesday, decreased against the Singapore dollar to 3.5063/5091 from 3.5003/5038, depreciated versus the Indonesian rupiah to 301.9/302.2 from 300.9/301.3, and was almost flat vis-à-vis the Philippine peso at 8.40/8.41 from 8.40/8.42. — BERNAMA