Ringgit opens slightly easier against US$ ahead of macro data

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit lost ground slightly against the US dollar as the market awaits more macro data releases this week, including the US advance gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter and March Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) data to gauge the future interest rate outlook.

The S&P Flash US Services and Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for April will be released later tonight.

At 9 am, the ringgit slipped to 4.7780/7810 against the greenback from Monday’s closing of 4.7750/7785.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the incoming data such as US PCE along with Federal Open Market Committee meeting next week will continue to weigh on sentiment in the foreign exchange market.

The US GDP print will be released on April 25, followed by the PCE data on April 26.

Mohd Afzanizam noted that the Brent crude was slightly higher at US$87 per barrel, thanks to the ease in the Middle East tensions, while the US Dollar Index (DXY) lingers at around 106.088 points.

"On that note, the US dollar/ringgit exchange rate is expected to remain steady at the prevailing level,” he said.

The ringgit was also traded lower against a basket of major currencies.

The local unit slid vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.0868/0889 from 3.0852/0877 at Monday’s close, depreciated versus the British pound to 5.9027/9064 from 5.8938/8981 yesterday and eased against the euro to 5.0929/0961 from 5.0859/0896 previously.

The local note traded mostly easier against ASEAN currencies.

It edged up versus the Thai baht to 12.8891/9021 against 12.9044/9198 at Monday’s close but slipped against the Singapore dollar to 3.5094/5118 from 3.5041/5069 yesterday.

The ringgit was marginally lower versus the Philippine peso at 8.30/8.32 from 8.29/8.31 on Monday and fell vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 294.1/294.6 from 293.9/294.4 yesterday. - Bernama

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