KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar this morning as cautious sentiments abound ahead of the six state elections tomorrow.
At 9.05 am, the local note depreciated to 4.5755/5795 against the greenback from 4.5690/5720 at Thursday’s close.
A dealer said investors are reluctant to stake their positions in anticipation of the election results, while at the same time looking out for market catalysts to boost their appetite.
Meanwhile, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance head Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the United States (US) consumer price index (CPI) for July that came out yesterday would influence the ringgit’s movement today.
“The CPI should be positive for ringgit, especially the core CPI, as (the higher CPI) would mean the US Federal Reserve may want to shift its stance at some point in the future and ease up on their monetary policy to support growth,” he told Bernama.
Mohd Afzanizam said the US CPI recorded a year-on-year increase of 3.2 per cent, surpassing the 3.0 per cent seen in June, though it fell slightly short of the consensus forecasts of 3.3 per cent.
He said the core CPI — excluding volatile factors — eased to 4.7 per cent in July from its previous level of 4.8 per cent, noting that the decline has been evident since its peak of 6.6 per cent in September 2022, indicating a gradual alleviation of inflationary pressures.
“As such, we anticipate the Malaysian ringgit to trade within the range of RM4.57 to RM4.58 today,” he said.
The ringgit was also traded higher against a basket of major currencies.
It appreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.1607/1637 from 3.1760/1783 on Thursday’s close, rose against the euro to 5.0280/0324 from 5.0350/0383 yesterday and went up vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.8031/8082 from 5.8296/8334 previously.
Conversely, the local unit was traded mostly lower against other Asean currencies.
The ringgit went up against the Singapore dollar to 3.3918/3952 from 3.3948/3975 at Thursday’s close but depreciated versus the Philippines’ peso to 8.15/8.16 from 8.12/8.13 yesterday.
It also depreciated against the Thai baht to 13.0211/0388 from 13.0112/0264 at yesterday’s close and slipped against the Indonesian rupiah at 301.2/301.7 from 300.8/301.2 previously. – Bernama