Ringgit opens lower vs US dollar, stronger against other major currencies

THE ringgit continued to open lower against the US dollar today amid higher-than-expected US inflation data which suggested the Federal Reserve (Fed) might keep the interest rate steady at current level.

At 9 am, the ringgit weakened to 4.7820/7880 against the greenback compared to Tuesday’s close of 4.7600/7665. 

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the latest development has boosted the US Dollar Index (DXY) by 0.68 per cent to 104.879 points.

The US Bureau of Labour Statistics reported that the inflation, as measured by the change in the Consumer Price Index, softened to 3.1 per cent in January 2024 from 3.4 per cent in December 2023.

The reading came in above the market expectation of 2.9 per cent.  

Therefore, he said, the Fed might keep the rate steady until it is convinced that inflation will reach the two per cent goal.

“Major currencies such as the euro and Japanese yen were also weaker against the greenback, and as such, the ringgit might stay weak against the US dollar today,” he told Bernama. 

The ringgit was traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

The local note appreciated vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1734/1776 from 3.1827/1872 at Tuesday’s close, strengthened against the British pound to 6.0186/0262 from 6.0243/0325 previously, and rose versus the euro to 5.1191/1256 from 5.1256/1326.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly lower versus other Asean currencies.

It was firmer versus the Thai baht at 13.2484/2701 compared to 13.3240/3478 at yesterday’s close.

However, the local note fell against the Philippine peso to 8.51/8.53 from 8.50/8.52 yesterday, was marginally lower versus the Singapore dollar at 3.5391/5438 compared to 3.5377/5428 previously, and slipped against the Indonesian rupiah to 306.4/306.9 from 305.0/305.6. — BERNAMA / pic TMR FILE