Ringgit extends uptrend vs greenback at opening
KUALA LUMPUR - The ringgit has extended its uptrend against the US dollar this morning in anticipation of softer interest rate hikes in the United States (US), after the latest US inflation data showed a declining trend.
At 9 am, the local note rose to 4.4795/4835 versus the greenback from yesterday’s closing rate of 4.4820/4860.
ActivTrades trader Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz said the US Consumer Price Index (CPI) reading for February was exactly as expected at 6.0 per cent, below January’s reading of 6.4 per cent.
"This suggests that inflation in the US is slowing down at the moment, thus the Federal Reserve may adopt a milder stance regarding the next interest rate decision on March 22,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance, Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid opined that the latest inflation print left the Federal Reserve in a pickle.
"On one hand, their concerns over stubbornly high inflation would mean they need to do more in raising the Fed Fund Rate.
"On the other spectrum, the heightening concern over the US banks such as the Silicon Valley Bank as well as Signature Bank serves as a reminder that overly tight monetary policy could do more harm than good,” he told Bernama.
As such, he said the ringgit is likely to experience some form of correction today after staging a strong rebound in the past two days.
Meanwhile, the local note was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.
It improved versus the British pound to 5.4444/4492 from 5.4474/4523 at Tuesday’s close and firmed against the Japanese yen to 3.3320/3352 from 3.3383/3415 yesterday, but fell vis-a-vis the euro to 4.8078/8121 from 4.8007/8050 previously.
At the same time, it was also traded mixed against its Asean counterparts.
The ringgit rose against the Thai baht to 12.9728/12.9896 from 12.9830/9999 yesterday and gained vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 291.10/291.50 from 291.20/291.70, but depreciated versus the Singapore dollar to 3.3285/3317 from 3.3254/3286 previously, and was unchanged vis-a-vis the Philippine peso at 8.13/8.14. - BERNAMA