KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — The ringgit opened slightly higher against the US dollar this morning, although the greenback had strengthened as investors focused on the resolution of the United States (US) debt ceiling negotiations this week.
At 9am, the local note rose to 4.5320/5375 versus the greenback from last Friday’s closing rate of 4.5350/5405.
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance head Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said that US Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen is expected to provide further updates on the debt ceiling and how much cash the US government can spend on its operational matters in the meantime.
He said the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes will be published on Wednesday and on Friday, investors will be able to scrutinise the inflation gauge by the US Federal Reserve (Fed).
“The combination of risk aversion and anticipation of a hawkish Fed means that the US dollar will continue to be well supported today.
“We believe the US dollar-ringgit will trade quite close to its immediate resistance level of RM4.5491 in the immediate term until investors see more clarity on the resolution of the US debt ceiling impasse,” he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies.
It weakened vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.6500/6569 versus 5.6370/6438 at the close on Friday, eased against the euro to 4.9054/9114 from 4.8978/9037 and decreased against the Japanese yen to 3.2917/2959 from 3.2839/2881 previously.
At the same time, the local note was traded mixed against other Asean currencies.
It appreciated versus the Indonesian rupiah to 303.4/304.0 from 303.6/304.2 at Friday’s close and increased versus the Thai baht to 13.2190/2404 from 13.1862/2083 last week.
However, it fell to 3.3728/3771 against the Singapore dollar from 3.3715/3758 last Friday and was flat against the Philippines’ pesos at 8.14/8.16 from 8.14/8.16 previously.