Ringgit opens lower against US dollar

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KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit retreated against the US dollar in opening trade today and was mixed against a basket of major currencies ahead of the weekend.

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At 9am, the local currency inched down to 4.0300/0350 against the greenback, from 4.0280/0320 at Thursday’s close.

Axi chief global market strategist Stephen Innes said the market continues to price out rate cuts after Bank Negara described the current policy stance as “appropriate and accommodative” with some now expecting the next rate hike as late as in the second quarter of next year.

“The Malaysian economy was highly responsive to the previous relaxation in mobility restriction; the thought here is that once the Movement Control Order is fully rolled back at the end of February or sooner, consumers will do the bulk of the heavy economic lifting while the Permai relief package announced this week would provide an added tailwind.

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“And with inflation expected to rise this year, even keeping rates unchanged, the inflation impulse offers some modest real easing,” he told Bernama.

The ringgit was traded mixed against other major currencies.

It inched up vis-a-vis the Singapore dollar to 3.0440/0490 from 3.0441/0481, and appreciated against the yen to 3.8918/8974 from 3.8944/8987.

Meanwhile, it slipped versus the British pound to 5.5316/5401 from 5.5312/5380, and fell against the euro to 4.9033/9098 from 4.8904/8965. – BERNAMA

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