By Kisho Kumari Sucedaram
KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 (NNN-Bernama) — The ringgit slipped against the greenback at the opening Friday as the release of several United States (US) macroeconomic data boosted the US currency.
At 9 am, the local note declined to 4.5445/5480 versus the greenback from yesterday’s closing rate of 4.5365/5395.
ActivTrades trader Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz said the US Initial Jobless Claims data — which measures the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance last week — came in below expectations at 242,000 against the forecast of 254,000.
“Another macroeconomic indicator that supported the US dollar was the US Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index, where today’s reading came in less negative than expected at -10.4 versus the forecast of -19.8, which was also positive for the greenback,” he said.
Additionally, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance head Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the US Federal Reserve (Fed) has hinted that the probability of a pause in the interest rate hike in its upcoming meeting is slim as the Fed is still preoccupied with threats of inflation.
“Despite the risk-on mode, the US Dollar Index (DXY) gained 0.64 per cent to 103.544 points as the Fed remained hawkish,” he told Bernama.
As such, he opined that the ringgit is likely to stay soft, noting that the current level of RM4.5380 is quite close to its resistance level of RM4.5491.
In the meantime, the ringgit was traded higher against a basket of major currencies.
It had strengthened vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.6411/6454 versus 5.6452/6490 at the close on Thursday, rose against the euro to 4.8958/8996 from 4.9076/9108 and increased against the Japanese yen to 3.2831/2861 from 3.2926/2950 previously.
However, the local note was traded mostly lower against Asean currencies.
It depreciated versus the Indonesian rupiah to 305.6/306.0 from 305.0/305.4 at Thursday’s close, declined to 3.3728/3756 against the Singapore dollar from 3.3724/3748 yesterday and slid against the Philippines’ pesos at 8.14/8.15 from 8.11/8.13 previously.
However, the ringgit had appreciated vis-a-vis the Thai baht to 13.1839/2002 from 13.2105/2247.