Ringgit extends positive momentum against greenback

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit extended its positive momentum to open slightly higher against the US dollar in the early session today, said an analyst.

At 9 am, the local note rose to 4.3940/3980 versus the greenback compared with Tuesday's closing rate of 4.3990/4030.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the US dollar appears to be weakening as major currencies such as the euro and Japanese yen strengthened to US$1.0844 per euro and 130.77 yen per US dollar.

He noted that the US dollar Index (DXY) was down by 0.42 per cent to 102.43 points.

"This came after the United States (US) Conference Board Consumer Confidence rose more than expected to 104.2 points in March against the market’s expectation of 101 points, higher than February’s 103.4 points," he said to Bernama.

He added that the US Federal Reserve (Fed) officials also seem to suggest that the rate hikes would need to continue in order to bring down the inflation in the US.

Mohd Afzanizam said the investors would also watch for the Core Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) Price Index data to be released on Friday.

In the meantime, he believes that the ringgit has further strength to appreciate against the greenback as the Fed comes closer to reaching the so-called terminal-rate.

"The current support level is located at RM4.3297, therefore, there is a likelihood that the ringgit would appreciate further.

"Perhaps dollar-ringgit would oscillate between RM4.39 and RM4.40 today," he said.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded lower against a basket of major currencies, except versus the Japanese yen where it had improved to 3.3463/3498 from 3.3606/3642 yesterday.

The local note fell against the British pound to 5.4209/4258 from 5.4046/4095 at Tuesday’s close and eased vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7662/7705 from 4.7580/7623 previously.

At the same time, the ringgit was traded higher against Asean currencies, but was flat against the Singapore dollar at 3.3100/3132 compared with 3.3100/3135 yesterday.

It went up vis-a-vis the Philippine peso to 8.06/8.09 from 8.07/8.09 on Tuesday, gained against the Thai baht to 12.8277/8458 from 12.8288/8457 previously and inched up against the Indonesian rupiah to 291.20/291.60 from 291.60/291.90 yesterday. - Bernama

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