Ringgit opens firmer vs US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit reversed its losses to open higher against the US dollar on Friday amidst positive developments in the Asian foreign exchange (forex) market.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said risk appetites improved after attention appeared to have shifted towards the Japanese Yen as the Bank Of Japan (BOJ) is seen to be changing their course soon after remaining excessively accommodative.

At 9.15 am, the ringgit rose to 4.6660/6700 versus the greenback compared with yesterday's close of 4.6720/6765.

He noted that the BOJ has kept its policy rate at -0.1 per cent since January 2016 until now.

Japan’s inflation rate has been above the two per cent target for quite some time with headline and core Consumer Price Index (CPI) standing at 3.2 per cent and 2.7 per cent in October, respectively.

As such, Mohd Afzanizam said there has been a significant appreciation of the Japanese yen of late to 144.15 yen.

This happened as the US Federal Reserve (Fed) is expected to keep their Fed Fund Rate unchanged next week when the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) reconvenes on Dec 12-13.

"On that note, the ringgit should remain stable today at around RM4.67-RM4.68 against the greenback,” he told Bernama.

The ringgit was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies. It rose against the British pound to 5.8778/8828 from 5.8802/8858 at Thursday’s close.

It fell against the Japanese yen to 3.2632/2662 from 3.2243/2276 and was weaker vis-a-vis the euro to 5.0374/0417 from 5.0359/0408 yesterday.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded mostly lower against other Asean currencies.

It appreciated versus the Philippine peso at 8.42/8.45 from 8.45/8.46 but eased against the Thai baht to 13.2916/3086 from 13.2803/3014.

The local unit fell to 3.4912/4947 against the Singapore dollar from 3.4884/4920 and declined against the Indonesian rupiah to 300.6/301.1 from 301.0/301.5 previously. - Bernama

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