Ringgit opens easier vs US$, firmer vs major currencies

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar due to the strengthening of the US dollar index but rose against other major currencies, according to an analyst.

At 9.01 am, the ringgit eased to 4.6960/6995 versus the greenback compared to Tuesday’s close of 4.6890/6910.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the US dollar index rose 0.01 per cent to 104.606 points, as the United States (US) Consumer Confidence Index increased more than expected to 102 points in May.

At the same time, US Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis president Neel Kashkari hinted that the US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) stance remains restrictive and a possible rate hike cannot be totally ruled out.

"As such, ringgit could trade cautiously as market participants await the Fed’s favourite inflation gauge on Friday,” Mohd Afzanizam told Bernama.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded higher against the Japanese yen at 2.9841/9865 from yesterday’s close of 2.9876/9890, improved vis-a-vis the euro to 5.0956/0994 from 5.1002/1024 on Tuesday and rose versus the British pound to 5.9888/9933 from 5.9897/9923 previously.

However, the local note was traded mostly lower against most of its ASEAN peers.

The local currency fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.4801/4829 from 3.4785/4802 at Tuesday’s close, went down vis-a-vis the Thai baht to 12.8096/8240 from 12.7975/8089 yesterday and slid versus the Indonesian rupiah to 291.8/292.2 from 291.3/291.6 previously.

Conversely, it picked up against the Philippines’ peso to 8.08/8.09 from 8.09/8.10 yesterday. - Bernama

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