KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — The ringgit opened marginally higher versus the greenback this morning ahead of the United States’ (US) February inflation report to be released this week, said an analyst.
At 9 am, the local note strengthened to 4.5120/5175 versus the US dollar compared with Friday’s closing rate of 4.5180/5220.
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd head of economics, market analysis and social finance Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) and core CPI were likely to go up by 6.0 per cent and 5.5 per cent in February from 6.4 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively, in the previous month based on consensus estimates.
“It appears the disinflationary trend is expected to continue, albeit at a slower pace.
“From the currency market point of view, this will continue to support the US dollar in the near term as the Federal Open Market Committee members will meet next week,” he told Bernama.
He also said the US dollar/ringgit exchange rate might linger around RM4.50, with resistance and support levels located at RM4.5328 and RM4.4659, respectively.
“Again, it’s going to be cautious mode (for traders) as we progress through the week,” he said.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded lower against a basket of major currencies.
The local note fell against the Japanese yen to 3.3574/3620 from 3.3038/3070 at Friday’s close, decreased versus the British pound to 5.4469/4535 from 5.4148/4196 previously, and slipped vis-a-vis the euro to 4.8193/8251 from 4.7823/7865.
At the same time, the ringgit was traded mixed against Asean currencies.
The local currency weakened against the Thai baht to 12.9842/13.0075 from 12.8894/9064 at the end of last week and eased versus the Singapore dollar to 3.3420/3463 from 3.3316/3351 previously.
However, it rose against the Indonesian rupiah to 291.90/292.50 from 292.30/292.80 on Friday and was flat vis-a-vis the Philippine peso at 8.19/8.21 compared with 8.19/8.20 previously.