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Ringgit Weakens at Opening as Economic Data Continue to Prop Up US Dollar

The ringgit slipped further against the US dollar when the market opened on Tuesday as positive US economic data points continued to support the greenback, a dealer said.

At 9.01am, the local currency eased to 4.7440/7490 versus the US dollar from Monday’s closing of 4.7285/7325.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said emerging market currencies, including the ringgit, will remain weak in the near term, and the trend is likely to persist ahead of the US nonfarm payrolls (NFP), which is scheduled for release on Friday.

He also said that consensus estimates have pegged the NFP at 205,000 in March, lower than the previous month’s level of 275,000.

“In that sense, market participants are observing the incoming data to form their opinion on US interest rate outlook.

A slew of Federal Reserve speakers are also set to dictate market sentiment this week and this guessing game will benefit the US dollar in the near term,” he told Bernama.

The ringgit was traded mixed against a basket of major currencies.

It improved against the euro to 5.0932/0985 from 5.1002/1045 at Monday’s close and strengthened vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.9513/9576 from 5.9674/9729, but fell versus the Japanese yen to 3.1270/1305 from 3.1232/1260 previously.

The ringgit was traded mostly lower against Asean currencies.

It strengthened versus the Thai baht to 12.9402/9584 from 12.9793/12.9949 at Monday’s close.

However, the local note slipped against the Singapore dollar to 3.5065/5105 from 3.5054/5087 on Monday, fell vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 298.4/298.8 from 297.4/297.8 previously, and eased versus the Philippine peso to 8.42/8.43 from 8.40/8.41.

Source: Bernama

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