Ringgit opens slightly lower against US$ on lack of catalysts

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit eased against the US dollar in early trade today due to the lack of catalysts, said an analyst.

At 9:05 am, the local currency was pegged at 4.7775/7805 against the greenback compared with Monday's close of 4.7750/7795.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said there is not much catalyst for the ringgit to appreciate although technical indicators suggest that the local note is already in the oversold region.

"Prevalent views on the US Federal Reserve’s restrictive monetary stance will continue to be the main pillar for a strong dollar for quite sometime,” he told Bernama.

He said the US Dollar Index appears to take a breather after reaching its peak at 104.960 points on Feb 13 and it is currently hovering at around 103.827.

Mohd Afzanizam said the market would be paying close attention to the upcoming US personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inflation to be released on Feb 29.

"In adddition, other major economies have been quite careful in their monetary policy stance.

"As such, the ringgit is expected to trade at around RM4.77 today,” he said.

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

The local currency eased vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1729/1751 from 3.1696/1728 at Monday’s close, fell against the British pound to 6.0574/0612 from 6.0552/0609 yesterday, and slipped versus the euro to 5.1822/1854 from 5.1756/1805 previously.

The ringgit also was traded mostly lower against other Asean currencies.

The local note rose versus the Thai baht to 13.3074/3217 compared with 13.3190/3375 yesterday.

However, it was down against the Singapore dollar at 3.5542/5567 compared to 3.5523/5559 at Monday’s close, slipped versus the Philippine peso to 8.52/8.53 from 8.51/8.52 yesterday, and declined vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 305.6/306.0 from 305.4/305.9 previously. - Bernama

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