KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened higher against the US dollar today as the greenback weakened following dovish comments from top US Federal Reserve (Fed) officials about the interest rate outlook, said an analyst.
At 9 am, the local note rose to 4.7240/7290 against the greenback from Monday’s close of 4.7295/7335.
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said some top Fed officials appeared to be guarded on further increases in US interest rates.
He noted that Fed vice-chairman Philip Jefferson indicated the Fed is in a position to proceed carefully as long-term interest rates have gone up quite excessively. It was reported that some Fed officials may want to leave interest rates unchanged at its next meeting due to a surge in long-term interest rates.
“Having said that, the forex market remains guarded with the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. In that sense, safe havens such as the US dollar will continue to thrive,” he told Bernama.
Due to this, appetite for emerging currencies would remain lacklustre, including the ringgit, he said.
The ringgit traded lower versus a basket of major currencies.
It went down against the yen to 3.1814/1852 from 3.1716/1745 at Monday’s close, declined against the euro to 4.9947/5.0000 from 4.9811/9853, and depreciated vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.7860/7921 from 5.7634/7682.
The local note traded mixed against other Asean currencies.
It increased versus the Indonesian rupiah at 301.0/301.4 from 301.3/301.7 previously and was flat against the Philippine peso at 8.30/8.32.
It traded lower against the Thai baht at 12.7970/8157 from 12.7435/7588 on Monday and weakened against the Singapore dollar to 3.4623/4665 from 3.4542/4574 previously.