By Karina Imran
KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 (NNN-Bernama) — Malaysian ringgit opened lower against the greenback as the US Dollar Index (DXY) was slightly higher by 0.20 per cent to 102.64 overnight, said an analyst.
At 9 am, the local note fell to 4.4170/4220 versus the US dollar compared with Wednesday’s closing rate of 4.4155/4210.
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the 10-year US Treasury yield, however, was a tad lower to 3.56 per cent, suggesting markets are still wary ahead of the US inflation data on Friday.
“As for the ringgit, it might experience some weakening trend in the immediate term given the sharp appreciation recently,” he told Bernama.
Mohd Afzanizam also noted that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has been consistent in their view to assess the effect of past interest rate hikes and that the economy would be powered by the domestic engine.
As for inflation, he said the balance of risks are tilted to the upside as both factors, demand and supply condition are playing out nicely to dictate the ongoing trend.
“In that sense, the possibility of a 25-basis point hike cannot be totally ruled out the way we see it.
“If that happens, it could support the ringgit especially when the US Federal Reserve would take a breather in its rate hike campaign,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ringgit traded higher against a basket of major currencies.
The local note gained against the British pound to 5.4342/4404 from 5.4531/4599 at Wednesday’s closing, improved vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7867/7921 from 4.7943/8003 and appreciated versus the Japanese yen to 3.3288/3328 from 3.3524/3569 Wednesday.
At the same time, the ringgit was traded mixed against ASEAN currencies.
It rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.3218/3258 compared with 3.3219/3263 Wednesday and increased vis-a-vis the Thai baht to 12.9050/9242 from 12.9267/9485.
The ringgit was flat against the Philippine peso at 8.11/814 from 8.11/8.12 previously and depreciated against the Indonesian rupiah to 293.30/293.80 from 293.20/293.70.