Ringgit extends gain to open higher against US dollar

The ringgit extended Wednesday’s gains to open higher against the US dollar today as the greenback retreated from multi-month highs after a pullback in US Treasury yields, said an analyst. 

At 9.00 am, the local currency rose to 4.7850/7885 versus the US dollar from Wednesday’s closing of 4.7910/7950.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the US dollar Index (DXY) saw a decline of 0.3 per cent to 105.940 points despite uncertainties about the prospect of an interest rate cut. On Tuesday, US Federal Chairman Jerome Powell said persistent inflation means borrowing costs will stay elevated for longer than previously thought.

However, Afzanizam noted that in Europe the disinflationary trend has persisted with the headline inflation and core consumer price index (CPI) trending lower in March to 2.4 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively, from 2.6 per cent and 3.1 per cent in the preceding month.

“This is lending support that the European Central Bank (ECB) might cut their policy rate sooner rather than later. On that note, the ringgit will likely remain in a narrow range today as the US dollar remains a standout against other major currencies, especially on the interest rate outlook which favours the greenback,” he told Bernama. 

The ringgit traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies except the British pound.

It eased against the euro to 5.1056/1093 from 5.0981/1024 at Wednesday’s close, slipped vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1013/1038 from 3.0990/1018 but strengthened versus the British pound to 5.9588/9631 from 5.9720/9770 previously.

The local note was traded higher against Asean currencies except the Singapore dollar

It went up versus the Thai baht to 13.0108/0250 compared with 13.0194/13.0373 at Wednesday’s close and advanced vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 294.9/295.3 from 295.3/295.7 yesterday.

The ringgit also improved versus the Philippine peso to 8.36/8.39 from 8.37/8.39 on Wednesday but depreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.5184/5212 from 3.5171/5200 previously. — BERNAMA / pic MUHD AMIN NAHARUL