KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit extended its downtrend to open lower against the US dollar in the early session today as investors continued to seek refuge in safe haven currencies on concerns over the global economic prospects, an economist said.
At 9 am, the local note eased to 4.6485/6525 against the greenback from 4.6385/6425 at yesterday’s close.
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance head Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the local unit remained weak as major central banks were seen taking hawkish stands amidst a tight global liquidity environment.
“Markets are feeling anxious as the Federal Reserve (Fed) might maintain that the restrictive monetary stance is here to stay to bring down the inflation.
“Investors are likely to pay attention to the upcoming speech by Fed chair Jerome Powell before the US Congress, which is expected to offer insights on the economy,” he told Bernama
Meanwhile, the ringgit was also traded lower against a basket of major currencies.
It depreciated versus the British pound to 5.9310/9361 from 5.9220/9271 at yesterday’s close, fell against the Japanese yen to 3.2810/2840 from 3.2751/2781 on Tuesday and weakened vis-a-vis the euro to 5.0743/0787 from 5.0676/0719 previously.
Similarly, the local note traded mostly lower against other Asean currencies.
The ringgit inched up against the Thai baht to 13.3152/3378 from yesterday’s 13.3486/3666, but went down against the Singapore dollar to 3.4540/4590 against 3.4490/4556 previously.
It also fell versus the Indonesian rupiah to 308.9/309.4 from 308.5/309.2 on Tuesday and dropped against the Philippines’ peso to 8.31/8.33 from 8.30/8.32 yesterday. – Bernama