USA Dollar

Ringgit opens slightly lower against US dollar ahead of FOMC meeting


KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened marginally lower against the US dollar today ahead of the highly anticipated Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting which will begin tonight.

At 9am, the ringgit eased to 4.7665/7710 versus the greenback from yesterday’s close of 4.7650/7700.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said two-day FOMC meeting would be the most closely watched event prior to the United States (US) nonfarm payrolls (NFP) data which is expected to decline to 240,000 in April based on consensus estimates from 303,000 in the preceding month.

Mohd Afzanizam said that prior to the NFP report, there will also be the Job Openings and Labour Turnover Survey (JOLTS), which is expected to show lower job openings of 8.68 million in March 2024 compared with 8.76 million in February.

Moreover, he said, there is the ISM manufacturing index for the US manufacturing sector which is expected to decline slightly to 50.1 points this month from 50.3 points in March.

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“On that note, we can expect the ringgit to be well supported today. Apart from technical charts suggesting an oversold condition in the ringgit, weaker-than-expected US data points could provide some support for the ringgit,” he said.

Mohd Afzanizam said cautious trade is expected meantime as the US Federal Reserve is likely to keep its hawkish stance on monetary policy.

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

The ringgit appreciated versus the Japanese yen to 3.0395/0427 from 3.0588/0624 at Monday’s close, but it slipped vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.9843/9900 from 5.9710/9773 yesterday and fell against the euro to 5.1073/1121 from 5.1052/1106 previously.

Meanwhile, the local note strengthened against most Asean currencies.

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It rose versus the Thai baht to 12.8598/8779 from 12.8669/8853 at yesterday’s close, edged up against the Philippine peso to 8.27/8.28 from 8.26/8.27 yesterday, and improved vis-a-vis the Singapore dollar to 3.5035/5071 from 3.5039/5081.

But the ringgit opened flat vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah at 293.1/293.6 from 293.1/293.5 previously.



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