Ringgit rebounds to open higher against US dollar

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KUALA LUMPUR (March 23): The ringgit rebounded to open higher versus the US dollar on Wednesday (March 23) as the greenback retreated amid an improvement in the equity market, an analyst said.

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At 9am, the local currency was trading at 4.2110/2155 against the greenback from 4.2160/2190 at Tuesday’s close.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said US equities closed higher on Tuesday night despite more US Federal Reserve (Fed) officials being in favour of tighter monetary policy this year.

“In a way, it was a risk-on mode with the US dollar index falling slightly on Tuesday,” he told Bernama.

According to reports, San Francisco Fed president Mary Daly and her St Louis counterpart James Bullard have suggested that monetary policy accomodation would need to be removed and done at a faster pace.

Hence, Mohd Afzanizam said the ringgit should continue to linger around 4.21 against the greenback on Wednesday.

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At the opening, the ringgit was traded mostly mixed against a basket of major currencies.

It strengthened against the Japanese yen to 3.4764/4804 from 3.4880/4908 at Tuesday’s close.

The local unit fell against the British pound to 5.5880/5940 from 5.5580/5619 and declined against the euro to 4.6426/6476 from 4.6346/6379 previously.

However, the ringgit was unchanged against the Singapore dollar at 3.1027/1063 on Wednesday, compared with 3.1027/1052 at Tuesday’s close.-BERNAMA