Ringgit opens lower in early trade

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar on Wednesday as the greenback firmed on an increase in sentiment over a possible interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve (Fed) in 2024.

At 9.07 am, the ringgit stood at 4.6715/6760 versus the greenback compared with yesterday's close of 4.6610/6660.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the persistent decline in the US Job Openings to 8.7 million during October 2023 from a high of 12.0 million in March last year suggested that the demand for labour is on a declining trend.

On the same note, the Quit Rate sustained at 2.3 per cent for the fourth consecutive month after reaching an all-time high of 3.0 per cent in April last year, signalled that confidence among employees to secure a new job if they voluntarily resigned from their current post has weakened.

Generally, the labour market is softening and therefore, the possibility of an interest cut in 2024 is building up, he said.

"And this was reflected by the decline in the 2- and 10-year US Treasury yields by six and nine basis points to 4.58 per cent and 4.16 per cent respectively. Perhaps, the ringgit could gain some footing against the US dollar today, probably oscillating around the immediate support level of RM4.6611,” he told Bernama.

The ringgit was traded mixed versus a basket of major currencies.

It was marginally higher vis-a-vis the euro to 5.0438/0487 from 5.0483/0537 at Tuesday’s close, was flat against the British pound at 5.8875/8932 from 5.8873/8936 previously, and went down against the Japanese yen to 3.1747/1779 from 3.1692/1729.

Meanwhile, the local note was traded lower against other Asean currencies.

It was marginally lower versus the Singapore dollar at 3.4857/4893 from 3.4820/4860 on Tuesday and weakened against the Thai baht to 13.2713/2909 from 13.2040/2241 previously.

The local note also declined against the Indonesian rupiah at 301.2/301.7 from 300.5/301.0 and fell versus the Philippine peso to 8.44/8.45 from 8.42/8.44 previously. - Bernama

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