KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit extended last Friday's weak sentiment and closed lower on Monday as uncertainty surrounding the US currency faded, supporting the US dollar and leading to market expectations of another round of interest rate hikes in the United States.
At 6 pm, the local note depreciated to 4.4200/4250 versus the greenback from Friday’s closing rate of 4.4000/4025.
SPI Asset Management managing director Stephen Innes said last week's US data suggested that the US Federal Reserves would continue to be concerned about inflation and may hold interest rates at a higher level for a longer period. And with the US bank stress easing, this suggests that the US Federal Reserves can proceed with at least one more rate hike in May and hold rates through the end of the year.
"This is contrary to what the market had anticipated. However, this could change if the US credit tightens, but this does not appear to be the case at this time,” he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, the ringgit strengthened against a basket of major currencies.
It rebounded vis-a-vis the euro to 4.8532/8587 from 4.8660/8687 at Friday’s close, was better versus the British pound to 5.4808/4870 from 5.5031/5062, appreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.2968/3008 from 3.3208/3229 on last Friday.
The local note was also higher against Asean currencies, except against the Singapore dollar.
It inched up against the Indonesian rupiah at 298.7/299.2 from 299.1/299.5 on Friday and went up versus the Thai baht to 12.8604/8813 from 12.9070/9208 previously.
The local note also traded marginally higher against the Philippine peso at 7.91/7.93 from 7.97/7.98 at Friday’s close but eased against the Singapore dollar at 3.3196/3238 from 3.3183/3204 last Friday. - Bernama