Ringgit opens lower against US$ ahead of Fed chair remarks

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower against the greenback today as traders took profit after recent gains and on caution ahead of a talk later today by US Federal Reserve (Fed) chairman Jerome Powell, said an analyst.

At 9.01 am, the ringgit fell to 4.6670/6720 versus the US dollar compared with Thursday's close of 4.6590/6635.

It was reported that the favourite inflation gauge by the Fed continued to decline in October, which saw personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and core PCE inflation dropped to 3.0 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said this suggests that US monetary tightening has had a desirable impact on inflation. "Perhaps it might signal that the Fed is about to stop its rate hike campaign," he told Bernama.

However, he noted the two-year and 10-year US Treasury yields were higher yesterday while the US Dollar Index (DXY) had gained some strength.

On that note, the ringgit against the US dollar is likely to trade above its immediate support level of RM4.6611 given the appreciation of the greenback, said Mohd Afzanizam.

In early trade, the ringgit was traded higher versus a basket of major currencies, but eased against the British pound to 5.9014/9077 from Thursday’s 5.8941/8998.

It appreciated further vis-a-vis the euro at 5.0889/0943 from 5.0918/0967 and improved versus the Japanese yen to 3.1594/1630 from 3.1601/1634 previously.

The local note was traded lower against other Asean currencies, and was almost flat against the Indonesian rupiah at 300.8/301.3 from 300.3/300.8 at yesterday’s close.

It was marginally lower versus the Philippine peso at 8.40/8.41 from 8.39/8.41, declined against the Singapore dollar to 3.4927/4967 from yesterday’s 3.4883/4920 and slipped against the Thai baht to 13.2555/2765 from 13.2335/2546 previously. - Bernama

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