Ringgit opens easier versus US dollar

THE ringgit opened lower against the US dollar today as investors remained in favour of the safe haven currency amid a cautious global economic outlook, an economist said.

At 9 am, the ringgit fell to 4.7145/7190 against the greenback compared to yesterday’s close of 4.7080/7110.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said investors are still holding on to the US dollar with the US Dollar Index (DXY) staying above 105 points as other major central banks have begun cutting their policy rates while the US Federal Reserve (Fed) appeared reluctant to follow suit.

“The Fed still feels the need to keep the benchmark rates higher to bring the inflation rate towards the 2.0 per cent target. As such, today’s dynamic is likely to be fairly stable against the US dollar,” he told Bernama.

Nevertheless, Afzanizam noted that the ringgit performed favourably against other regional currencies recently.

The latest export print of 7.3 per cent growth in May, which was significantly higher than the consensus estimate, suggests Malaysia is likely to benefit from the rebound in external demand.

“It also raised the hope that the gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of 4.0 to 5.0 per cent in 2024 is within reach,” he added.

The ringgit traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

It gained against the Japanese yen to 2.9634/9664 from Thursday’s close of 2.9711/9732, rose against the British pound to 5.9667/9724 from 5.9815/9853 and strengthened against the euro to 5.0478/0526 from 5.0498/0530 previously.

However, the ringgit traded mostly lower against its ASEAN peers.

It declined against the Thai baht to 12.8300/8461 from 12.8008/8138 at yesterday’s close and dropped against the Indonesian rupiah to 286.9/287.3 from 286.5/286.8 

The local note was slightly higher versus the Singapore dollar at 3.4804/4839 from 3.4807/4832 on Thursday and almost flat against the Philippine peso at 8.01/8.03. — BERNAMA / pic BLOOMBERG