KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 — The ringgit opened marginally lower against the US dollar today ahead of the overnight policy rate (OPR) decision by Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Monetary Policy Committee on Thursday.
At 9.06 am, the ringgit depreciated to 4.3270/3310 against the greenback from Tuesday’s closing of 4.3250/3280.
The two-day Monetary Policy Committee meeting starts today.
Meanwhile, ActivTrades trader Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz said investors were also awaiting the release of a string of economic data that was likely to be a major driver.
Among the most important numbers to be released later is US retail sales.
Retail sales measures how much households are spending, which generally represents about two-thirds of gross domestic product.
Other figures include the Consumer Price Index which will shed light on the latest inflation trends in the United Kingdom and the European Union, while the Bank of Japan’s interest rate decision could also have a strong impact on the market.
“With so much data to be released in the next few hours, it’s natural for investors to ‘wait and see’ before taking new investment decisions.
“However, if the data comes in line with expectations, the ringgit may continue its upward movement towards 4.2450 against the US dollar, where it could find some temporary support,” he told Bernama.
The ringgit was mostly lower against a basket of major currencies, except the euro.
The local unit fell to 5.3131/3180 against the British pound from 5.2804/2841 at yesterday’s close, was easier versus the Singapore dollar at 3.2758/2793 compared to 3.2683/2711 previously, and depreciated vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.3592/3628 from 3.3582/3608.
However, it appreciated versus the euro to 4.6684/6727 from 4.6788/6820 on Tuesday.