KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 22): The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar on Monday (Aug 22), extending its losses last week, as more investors shifted their focus towards the safe-haven currency on the possibility of another rate hike by the US Federal Reserve (Fed), dealers said.
At 9.15am, the local currency stood at 4.4830/4860 against the greenback, from last Friday’s close at 4.4760/4795.
In a note on Monday, MIDF Research said the ringgit had depreciated by 0.7% to 4.478 week-on-week last Friday, although the decline was not as sharp compared to other major and regional currencies.
“Recent policy easing by the People’s Bank of China and, to a certain extent, slow growth in China also led to the depreciation of the ringgit and regional currencies,” it said.
MIDF Research noted that the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on July 22 signalled that the Fed remained committed to bringing down inflation towards its long-term 2% target.
“Latest comments from Fed policymakers also indicated that another large rate hike may be considered in the next FOMC meeting on Sept 22,” it added.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded higher against a basket of major currencies.
The local note rose against the euro to 4.4951/4981 from 4.5069/5104 at last Friday’s close, and increased against the pound to 5.1949/1984 from 5.3126/3167 previously.
It also improved vis-a-vis the yen to 3.2642/2666 from 3.2767/2795 last Friday, and appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.2152/2178 from 3.2225/2254 previously.-BERNAMA