Ringgit rebounds on higher-than-expected US jobless claims

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit staged a rebound this morning, opening higher against the US dollar as the greenback slipped on unexpected data print, an economist said.

At 9 am, the local note rose to 4.6030/6100 versus the greenback compared with yesterday’s closing of 4.6185/6235.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance head Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the United States (US) Initial Jobless Claims rose to 261,000 last week -- higher than the consensus estimates of 235,000, which led to the devaluation of the US dollar.

"The latest print also revealed the possibility of a pause in the rate hike cycle during next week's Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

"As such, we shall expect the ringgit to stage a slight appreciation today," he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded lower against a basket of major currencies.

It fell to 3.3103/3156 against the Japanese yen from yesterday's closing of 3.3041/3079, slipped vis-a-vis the euro to 4.9630/9705 from Thursday's 4.9557/9610 and depreciated versus the British pound to 5.7786/7874 from 5.7537/7600 previously.

Conversely, the local note was traded mostly higher against other Asean currencies.

The ringgit improved against the Singapore dollar to 3.4271/4326 from 3.4290/4332 on Thursday, strengthened against the Indonesian rupiah to 308.9/309.6 from 310.0/310.5 yesterday, and rose against the Philippines’ peso at 8.22/8.24 from 8.23/8.24 previously.

However, the local currency declined versus the Thai baht to 13.2992/3245 from 13.2647/2848 yesterday. - Bernama

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