KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — The ringgit retreated from its gains yesterday to open lower against the US dollar as the greenback regained its strength amidst the turbulence at Credit Suisse, triggering fears of a banking crisis, said an analyst.
At 9am, the local note slipped to 4.5050/5115 versus the greenback from yesterday’s closing rate of 4.4810/4870.
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd’s head of economics, market analysis and social finance, Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the sharp fall in Credit Suisse’s share prices has exacerbated the stress in banking assets.
“Such dynamics have supported the value of the US dollar, resulting in the US Dollar Index (DXY) gaining 1.1 per cent to 104.736 points,” he told Bernama.
He also said risk-off mode has become more prevalent as investors sought refuge from greater market uncertainties, noting that risky asset prices have fallen and the safe haven US Treasury yields have dropped significantly.
“The 10-year US Treasury yield fell by 24 basis points to close at 3.45 per cent,” he said, adding that the USD/MYR could linger around RM4.4900 today.
Meanwhile, the local note was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies.
It fell versus the British pound to 5.4393/4472 from 5.4292/4364 at Wednesday’s close and weakened against the Japanese yen to 3.3781/3837 from 3.3405/3453 yesterday, but appreciated vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7699/7768 from 4.7853/7917 previously.
At the same time, it was also traded lower against its Asean counterparts.
The ringgit depreciated against the Thai baht to 13.0395/13.0641 from 12.9415/9675 yesterday, lost vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 292.70/293.30 from 291.20/291.80 on Wednesday, fell versus the Singapore dollar to 3.3353/3406 from 3.3291/3341 and was lower vis-a-vis the Philippine peso at 8.18/8.20 compared to 8.15/8.17 previously.