Ringgit opens easier vs USD ahead of interest rate decisions

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened marginally lower against the US dollar today as investors await interest rate decisions by major central banks this week, an economist said.

At 9 am, the local note eased to 4.6890/6940 against the greenback from yesterday’s close of 4.6870/6915.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance head Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said market players will be monitoring the United States Federal Open Market Committee two-day meeting beginning today for guidance on the macroeconomic environment.

“The Bank of England will also hold its monetary policy meeting on Sept 21 whereby they are anticipated to deliver another 25 basis points hike that would bring the bank rate to 5.50 per cent.

“The Bank of Japan will also meet up on Sept 22 with no change expected in their policy stance,“ he told Bernama.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies in the early session.

It depreciated against the Japanese yen to 3.1755/1791 from 3.1750/1783 at Monday’s close and edged down against the euro at 5.0116/0169 from 5.0020/0068 yesterday, but rose versus the British pound to 5.8059/8121 from 5.8128/8184 previously.

At the same time, the local note traded lower against other Asean currencies.

It weakened vis-à-vis the Singapore dollar to 3.4387/4429 from 3.4347/4383 at yesterday’s close and fell against the Philippines’ peso to 8.27/8.29 from 8.24/8.25 previously.

It also went down against the Indonesian rupiah to 305.0/305.5 from 304.8/305.3 on Monday and slid against the Thai baht to 13.1407/1595 from 13.1156/1337 previously. – Bernama