Ringgit opens higher vs greenback ahead of Bank Negara MPC meeting

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened higher against the US dollar and other major currencies on Monday, in anticipation of Bank Negara Malaysia's (BNM) decision on the overnight policy rate (OPR) on March 7.

At 9 am, the ringgit rebounded to 4.7230/7280 against the greenback compared with Friday's close of 4.7440/7480.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the overnight policy rate (OPR) is likely to remain at 3.0 per cent, and noted that the most important thing is the Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) latest assessment of the state of the economy.

"Between now and MPC dates, as well as the United States Non-farm Payrolls (NFP) on Friday, market participants are likely to remain guarded,” he told Bernama.

Therefore, he anticipates the local note to linger around RM4.73-RM4.74 today.

"Another important agenda would be China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) this week, as the markets want to see the country’s macro targets such as gross domestic product, inflation and fiscal deficits for 2024.

"If their policymakers want to provide stimulus, that would be positive for yuan and inadvertently for ringgit, given the positive correlation between the two currencies,” Mohd Afzanizam said.

Back home, the ringgit was traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

The local currency rose against the British pound to 5.9812/9875 from 5.9926/9977 last Friday, strengthened versus the euro to 5.1221/1275 from 5.1330/1373 last week, and improved vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1489/1524 from 3.1492/1521 previously.

At the same time, the ringgit traded mostly higher against other Asean currencies.

It was weaker versus the Thai baht at 13.2042/2241 from Friday’s close of 3.1928/2120, but gained against the Singapore dollar at 3.5154/5194 compared to 3.5229/5264 last week, firmed vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 300.7/301.1 from 302.1/302.4 and inched up against the Philippines’ peso at 8.43/8.44 from 8.47/8.48 previously. - Bernama

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Mohd Afzanizam , Ringgit , Opening , OPR , BNM , NPC


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