Selangor Journal
Image for illustration purposes only. — Picture by BERNAMA

Ringgit improves against US dollar ahead of OPR announcement 

KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — The ringgit closed higher against the US dollar and a basket of other major currencies as well as Asean currencies ahead of Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) decision on the overnight policy rate (OPR) on March 7.

At 6pm, the ringgit improved to 4.7200/7250 against the greenback compared with Friday’s close of 4.7440/7480.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said most economists are expecting the OPR to stand pat at 3.00 per cent.

“This week is quite an important week as the US Federal Reserve chairman will also share its latest economic assessment with Congress on March 7,” he said.

In addition, investors await the US Nonfarm Payroll (NFP) on Friday.

Hence, Mohd Afzanizam expects the currency market to remain guarded in the near future as uncertainties over the first US interest rate cut will continue to dominate market sentiments.

“Not to mention, China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) will also be closely monitored as investors will scrutinise the macro targets in the search for clues of economic stimulus,” he said.

Back home, the ringgit was traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

The local currency rose against the British pound to 5.9840/9904 from 5.9926/9977 last Friday, strengthened versus the euro to 5.1198/1252 from 5.1330/1373 last week, and improved vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1410/1445 from 3.1492/1521 previously.

At the same time, the ringgit traded higher against other Asean currencies.

It was higher versus the Thai baht at 13.1766/1965 from Friday’s close of 3.1928/2120 and gained against the Singapore dollar to 3.5137/5177 compared to 3.5229/5264 last week.

The ringgit also firmed vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 299.7/300.2 from 302.1/302.4 and inched up against the Philippine peso at 8.43/8.44 from 8.47/8.48 previously.

— Bernama

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