Ringgit slips as optimism over greenback grows

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar, as the optimistic mood among investors towards the greenback continued to strengthen the currency post-Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting last week.

At 9am, the local note slipped to 4.1430/1470 versus the greenback from 4.1380/1410 at Friday’s close.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim said the high possibility of a sooner-than-expected rate hike as hinted by the FOMC last week amid continuous improvement of the US economy had exerted a downward pressure on the ringgit.

On another note, the overall pandemic situation in Malaysia appears to be improving as seen by the utilisation rate of intensive care unit (ICU) beds which dropped to 94.0 per cent as at June 15, 2021 compared to a record high of 108.0 per cent on June 2, 2021.

"Moreover, the number of vaccination doses administered daily in the country has remained above 150,000 doses per day for six consecutive days from last Monday to Saturday.

"This should act as a positive catalyst for the ringgit this week. As such, the local currency may trade in the range of RM4.14 to RM4.15 against the US dollar today,” he told Bernama.

At the opening, the ringgit was mixed against a basket of major currencies.

It strengthened against the Singapore dollar to 3.0787/0821 versus 3.0851/0875 at Friday’s close, firmed against the pound to 5.7269/7324 from 5.7526/7568 and advanced against the euro to 4.9173/9221 from 4.9308/9344.

The local note, however, weakened vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.7585/7625 from 3.7570/7598 previously. - Bernama

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