Selangor Journal
A Korea Exchange Bank employee counts one hundred United States dollar notes during a photo opportunity at the bank’s headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, on April 28, 2010. — Picture by REUTERS

Ringgit closes lower against greenback

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — The ringgit ended lower against the US dollar on Monday, in line with other emerging currencies, as market participants were anxious about the situation in the Middle East, said an analyst.

At 6pm, the ringgit dropped to 4.7785/7815 against the US dollar from Friday’s closing of 4.7680/7730.

Apart from the Middle East conflict, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the United States Federal Reserve (US Fed) seemed unlikely to cut the interest rate in the near term, in view of the stubbornly high inflation rate recorded in March at 3.5 per cent.

“So, we have a heightened geopolitical risk, which resulted in forex (foreign exchange) players flocking to the US dollar, and we have the US Fed, which is likely to keep the rate higher for longer,” he told Bernama.

Therefore, Afzanizam believes the factors had translated into a bullish view on the greenback in the immediate terms.

At the close, the ringgit was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies.

It decreased against the euro to 5.0915/0947 from 5.0808/0861 at Friday’s close and eased versus the British pound to 5.9660/9697 from 5.9562/9624.

Nonetheless, the local note was marginally better vis-à-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1053/1075 from 3.1098/1133 previously.

At the same time, the ringgit was traded mixed against Asean currencies.

The local currency was higher versus the Thai baht at 13.0148/13.0286 from 13.0831/13.1036 at Friday’s close and appreciated versus the Philippine peso at 8.41/8.42 from 8.43/8.44 previously.

However, it weakened against the Singapore dollar to 3.5123/5148 from 3.5090/5129 and depreciated vis-à-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 301.4/301.8 from 300.8/301.3 last week.

— Bernama

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