Ringgit opens lower on hawkish Fed comments on 2023 rate hikes

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened slightly lower against the US dollar this morning following hawkish comments from the United States (US) Federal Reserve (Fed) officials on raising the US interest rate by early 2023.

At 9 am, the local currency eased to 4.6465/6495 against the greenback from Thursday’s close of 4.6345/6390.

SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes cited news reports which quoted Chicago Fed president Charles Evans saying that the US benchmark rate will probably be at 4.5-4.75 per cent by next spring as officials fret over high core inflation.

"Despite higher oil prices, the US dollar/ringgit pair should weaken this morning after the hawkish comments from the central banks, as higher US interest rates mean a stronger US dollar,” he told Bernama.

Besides, he said the market players will also be taking their cue from the US non-farm payroll data as it should provide a glimpse into the health of the US economy.

On the local front, Innes said the local market participants will be keeping their eyes on the Budget 2023 tabling this evening.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.

The local note rose against the British pound to 5.1795/1828 from 5.2231/2282 at yesterday’s close, inched up against the Singapore dollar to 3.2507/2532 from 3.2518/2552 previously, and appreciated vis-a-vis the euro to 4.5503/5533 from 4.5821/5866 previously.

However, it had eased versus the Japanese yen to 3.2056/2081 from 3.2033/2066 at the close on Thursday. - Bernama

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