Ringgit opens lower against US dollar on rising US bond yields

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar today on rising US bond yields following Federal Reserve (Fed) chairman Jerome Powell’s hawkish statement on the US monetary policy, said an analyst.

At 9.03 am, the ringgit fell to 4.7220/7275 versus the greenback from Thursday’s closing rate of 4.6895/6965.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the two-year and 10-year US Treasury yields were higher by 9.0 and 14.0 basis points to close at 5.02 per cent and 4.63 per cent, respectively, while the US Dollar Index (DXY) rose 0.29 per cent to 105.904 points.

“The financial markets were anxiously waiting for Powell’s remarks on monetary policy during the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forum last night.

“True enough, the Fed chief indicated that the US interest rates may need to rise further to win the war against inflation,“ he told Bernama.

It was reported that Powell’s comments suggested that the central bank is not 100 per cent convinced the rate hike cycle is over.

On that note, Mohd Afzanizam said the ringgit is expected to stay weak, around RM4.69 to RM4.70.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded lower versus a basket of major currencies.

It eased against the Japanese yen to 3.1199/1238 from 3.1050/1099 at Thursday’s close, decreased versus the euro to 5.0370/0428 from 5.0173/0248 and shrank against the British pound to 5.7703/7770 from 5.7695/7781 previously.

The local note was also traded lower against other Asean currencies.

It depreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.4703/4746 from 3.4563/4617 on Thursday and was down against the Thai baht to 13.1914/2134 from 13.1802/2065 previously.

It had also declined against the Philippine peso to 8.43/8.45 from 8.39/8.41 yesterday and slipped vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 301.5/302.1 from 299.5/300.1 on Thursday’s close. – Bernama