Ringgit extends winning streak on expectation of slower US interest rate hike

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit continued to tick higher for the seventh straight session ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) meeting on Jan 31 - Feb 1.

At 9 am, the ringgit rose to 4.2345/2395 against the greenback from Friday’s close of 4.2410/2475.

SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes told Bernama that the market is expecting a downshift in US interest rate hikes, from a 50 to 25 basis points hike in the Fed funds rates at this week's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, which should support the ringgit later in the week.

MIDF Research noted that the US dollar continued to weaken against major currencies last week, with the US Dollar Index falling 0.1 per cent week-on-week to 101.93, the lowest weekly closing in eight months.

It said the ringgit appreciated although the price of oil dropped, strengthening by 1.0 per cent week-on-week. "Although crude oil ended 1.1 per cent lower at US$86.66 per barrel, the ringgit and regional currencies appreciated further last week backed by positive growth fundamentals and risk-on demand,’’ the research house said in a note.

The ringgit traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies, except vis-a-vis the British pound, where it slipped to 5.2495/2557 from 5.2453/2533 at Friday’s close

The local note gained against the Singapore dollar at 3.2270/2311 from Friday’s close of 3.2280/2332, improved against the euro to 4.6046/6100 from 4.6159/6230 and appreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.2551/2594 from3.2658/2711 previously. - Bernama

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