Ringgit opens higher against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened higher against the US dollar on Monday supported by positive external developments.

At 9.10 am, the ringgit rose to 4.6575/6625 versus the greenback compared with Friday's close of 4.6710/6760.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance head Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said that the ringgit will remain guarded ahead of the United States Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting next week.

He said the main focus would be on the US Nonfarm Payrolls (NFP) as this would provide clues for the strength in the labour market which resonates well with the Federal Reserve (Fed) dual mandate, one of which is to achieve maximum employment.

"Should the NFP turn out to be lower than expected, talks of possible shift in the monetary stance will gain more attention. For now, it’s going to be cautious trading (for the ringgit) as the Fed is still deemed to be wary on the inflation risk,” he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly lower versus a basket of major currencies, except the euro as it appreciated further to 5.0641/0695 from 5.0900/0954 last Friday.

The local currency eased against the British pound to 5.9038/9122 from 5.9014/9077 and weakened against the Japanese yen to 3.1777/1813 from 3.1591/1627 previously.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded mixed against other Asean currencies.

It was marginally higher against the Indonesian rupiah at 300.7/301.2 from 301.5/302.1 and rose vis-a-vis the Philippine peso to 8.41/8.43 from 8.43/8.44 last Friday.

The local note was almost flat versus the Singapore dollar at 3.4927/4967 from 3.4973/5016 but declined against the Thai baht to 13.3952/4153 from 13.3301/3505 on Friday. - Bernama

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