Ringgit opens lower versus greenback on strong US retail sales

THE ringgit opened lower against the US dollar for the second consecutive day today as the greenback strengthened following robust US retail sales data for March, said an analyst. 

At 9.20 am, the local currency eased to 4.7885/7910 versus the US dollar from Monday’s closing of 4.7785/7815.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said US data continued to point towards a robust economic growth with retail sales in March rising more than expected to 0.7 per cent month-on-month, beating consensus forecast of 0.4 per cent.

“Consequently, the futures market has assigned a lower probablity for rate cuts, suggesting the monetary easing thesis this year has diminished and lending more support to the US dollar. True enough, the US Dollar Index (DXY) reached 106.209 points from merely 100 points at the end of 2023.

“As such, the ringgit is likely to maintain a weakening bias against the US dollar today,” he told Bernama. 

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

It rose against the euro to 5.0820/0847 from 5.0915/0947 at Monday’s close, edged up vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1026/1044 from 3.1053/1075 yesterday, and strengthened versus the British pound to 5.9516/9547 from 5.9660/9697 previously.

However, the ringgit was traded mixed against ASEAN currencies.

It was higher versus the Thai baht at 12.9872/9982 compared with 13.0148/13.0286 at Monday’s close, appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.5063/5083 from 3.5123/5148 yesterday, and went up versus the Philippine peso to 8.40/8.41 from 8.41/8.42.

However, the local note depreciated vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 302.1/302.4 from 301.4/301.8 previously. — BERNAMA / pic MUHD AMIN NAHARUL