Another volatile session expected for ringgit this week

KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 (Bernama): The ringgit is expected to endure more volatility next week ahead of Bank Negara Malaysia’s monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting on the overnight policy rate (OPR) on March 9.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd head of economics, market analysis and social finance Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said BNM’s upcoming MPC meeting will be a key event as markets would want to see the latest financial assessment from the central bank.

"The markets will be waiting for the outcome of this meeting after the central bank made a decision to retain the OPR early this year.

"In the meantime, there will be the US FOMC meeting in mid-March (which will provide) a better insight into the direction of the Fed funds rate,” he told Bernama.

At the last MPC meeting in January 2023, BNM kept the key rate unchanged at 2.75 per cent after making a cumulative 100-basis point hike since May 2022.

During the week, the ringgit was mostly lower against the greenback on worries over the Fed decision on interest rates as well as higher US Treasury yields.

The local currency ended the week easier against the US dollar on a lack of buying momentum, in line with the weaker sentiment of other Asian currencies.

On a week-on-week basis, the ringgit was weaker against the US dollar at 4.4765/4780 at Friday's close versus 4.4335/4370 a week earlier.

The local note also depreciated against a basket of major currencies compared to a week earlier.

It fell against the British pound at 5.3642/3660 from 5.3308/3350 and shrank versus the Singapore dollar to 3.3255/3269 from 3.2970/3001.

The local unit also fell vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7487/7503 from 4.6933/6970 and eased against the Japanese yen to 3.2877/2890 from 3.2804/2833. - Bernama

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