Ringgit almost flat against US dollar at the close

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit ended almost unchanged against the US dollar today amid subdued demand as the US Dollar Index (DXY) maintained its high levels, an economist said.

At 6 pm, the ringgit stood at 4.7600/7665 against the US dollar compared with Friday’s close of 4.7595/7705.

The market was closed yesterday for the Chinese New Year public holiday.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said regional currencies were also traded mixed versus the greenback as investors’ attention focused on tonight’s United States consumer price index (CPI) data, with expectations of continued trend towards lower inflation.

"Predictions are for the headline and core CPI to decrease to 2.9 per cent and 3.7 per cent in January, down from 3.4 per cent and 3.9 per cent, respectively.

"The market also seems to have factored in the likelihood that the US Federal Reserve would not reduce interest rates soon, which supports a strong US dollar,” he told Bernama.

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

The local note fell against the British pound to 6.0243/0325 from 6.0017/0156 at Friday’s close and slid versus the euro to 5.1256/1326 from 5.1241/1359, but slightly higher vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1827/1872 from 3.1849/1925 previously.

Similarly, the ringgit was traded mostly lower versus other Asean currencies.

It was weaker versus the Thai baht at 13.3240/3478 from 13.2540/2902 last week and declined against the Indonesian rupiah at 305.0/305.6 compared with 304.3/305.2 previously.

The local note was marginally lower against the Singapore dollar at 3.5377/5428 versus 3.5342/5429 on Friday but strengthened against the Philippine peso to 8.50/8.52 from 8.51/8.55 previously. - Bernama

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