Ringgit extends losses against greenback

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit has extended yesterday’s losses against the US dollar today as the greenback continues to strengthen versus Asian currencies.

This was despite the retracement of the US dollar index following the dovish statement from the United States (US) Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, leaving traders to ponder the possibilities of a US interest rate hike, dealers said.

At 9 am, the local note fell to 4.1620/1665 versus the greenback from 4.1600/1640 at Wednesday’s close.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said sentiments among businesses in developed countries remain upbeat following the release of a slew of Purchasing Managers' Index reports yesterday.

"It appears that talks of inflation will be the main theme as some central bankers are divided as to when the monetary policy accomodation can be removed.

"With economic indicators pointing to sustained recoveries, the higher inflation may not be a temporary phenomenon, so, against such a backdrop, emerging market currencies are expected to remain volatile in the near term,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, ActivTrades trader Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz opined that after a very volatile session, the US dollar is currently flat against the ringgit on the back of uncertainties surrounding the US inflation and the reopening of the Malaysian borders, which is taking longer than previously expected.

"Investors will now keep an eye on the US gross domestic product and the Initial Jobless Claims data for market direction.

"From the technical point of view, a full breakout above the 4.1600 level would signal that the dollar is strengthening, and the US currency could possibly reach the 4.1750 in the coming weeks,” he said.

At the opening, the ringgit was mostly higher against a basket of major currencies, except versus the British pound.

It strengthened against the Singapore dollar to 3.0919/0955 versus 3.0929/0964 at Wednesday’s close, improved against the Japanese yen to 3.7485/7526 from 3.7488/7527 and appreciated vis-a-vis the euro to 4.9653/9706 from 4.9670/9718.

Conversely, the local note slipped against the British pound to 5.8106/8169 from 5.8078/8134 yesterday. - Bernama

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