Ringgit higher for 3rd straight day as US$ drifts

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened higher against the US dollar for the third consecutive day, taking advantage of the drifting greenback and the oil market rally. At 9 am, the ringgit improved to 4.0400/0460 versus the US dollar from 4.0430/0470 at Wednesday's close. Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said that the local note could consolidate around the current level today as the Group of Ten (G-10) traders debate the US dollar's near-term direction. The G-10 comprises 11 industrial countries -- Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States -- which consult and co-operate on economic, monetary and financial matters. Meanwhile, Juwai IQI Global chief economist Shan Saeed said the Bank Negara Malaysia's decision to maintain its overnight policy rate (OPR) at 1.75 per cent will provide more room for the central bank to manoeuvre in the future. "This status quo OPR is a testament that the local note will continue to strengthen and trade between RM4.01 and RM4.04 against the US dollar,” he told Bernama. Yesterday, the central bank announced that it would maintain the current interest rate during its first Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting for this year. "Given the outlook for growth and inflation, the MPC considers the stance of the monetary policy to be appropriate and accommodative,” it said, adding that the central bank remains committed to utilise its policy levers as appropriate to create enabling conditions for a sustainable economic recovery. Against a basket of major currencies, the ringgit was traded mostly higher, except against the yen, where it fell to 3.8992/9054 from 3.8950/8996 yesterday. It rose versus the Singapore dollar to 3.0477/0531 from 3.0490/0530 at the close on Wednesday, improved to 5.5215/5317 from 5.5349/5412 previously against the British pound, and appreciated versus the euro to 4.8945/9033 from 4.9025/9082. - Bernama
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