Ringgit rises against greenback, Bursa opens lower

Ringgit rises against greenback, Bursa opens lower

Local note at 4.4275/4320 at 9.03am versus dollar from Tuesday’s closing rate of 4.4315/4360

KUALA LUMPUR – The ringgit rose against the US dollar in the early session today as United States Federal Reserve officials continued their hawkish stance, favouring another 25 to 75 basis points interest rate hike in the near term.

At 9.03am, the local note was pegged at 4.4275/4320 versus the greenback from Tuesday’s closing rate of 4.4315/4360.

However, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid expects the ringgit to stay soft as the US dollar/ringgit pair was already in the overbought position from the technical perspective.

“The ringgit might linger around RM4.44 against the US dollar today.

“Meanwhile, China’s higher-than-expected gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2023 at 4.5% reported yesterday suggests that the Malaysian economy would benefit from it via trade and investment, so this should be positive for the ringgit in the medium term,” he said.

In the meantime, the ringgit traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

It rose slightly against the Japanese yen to 3.3031/3067 from 3.3046/3082 at the close yesterday, advanced to 4.8618/8668 from 4.8631/8681 vis-a-vis the euro, and appreciated against the British pound to 5.5034/5090 from 5.5101/5157 yesterday.

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

It was slightly higher against the Indonesian rupiah to 298.2/298.7 from 298.5/299.0 yesterday and rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.3242/3281 from 3.3265/3301 previously.

However, it had eased to 7.90/7.91 against the Philippines’ peso from yesterday’s close of 7.89/7.90 and depreciated against the Thai baht to 12.9285/9477 from 12.9228/9416 previously.

Bursa Malaysia opened lower today due to the possibility of yet another interest rate hike by the Fed during the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting in early May, said an analyst.

At 9.06am, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI dropped 2.46 points to 1,429.90 from yesterday’s close of 1,432.36.

The barometer index opened 0.79 points weaker at 1,431.57.

Market breadth was negative with decliners surpassing gainers 141 versus 99, while 234 counters were unchanged, 1,824 untraded and 11 others suspended.

Turnover stood at 247.28 million units worth RM97.78 million.

Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd equity research vice-president Thong Pak Leng said that the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 10 points lower yesterday, while the Nasdaq was flat and the US Treasury 10-year yield eased to below the 3.58% level.

Back home, he said accumulation by foreign funds could be seen, however, it was not significant enough to make any major impact ahead of the long break for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.

“Thus, we reckon trading on the local bourse to remain dull and the index likely to remain stuck in consolidation mode and hover within the 1,430-1,440 range today,” he said.

Among the heavyweights, Maybank gained one sen to RM8.71, while Public Bank eased two sen to RM3.96, Petronas Chemicals was down by five sen to RM7.35, CIMB fell three sen to RM5.22 and CelcomDigi lost one sen to RM4.45.

As for the actives, Hong Seng was flat at 13 sen, Pharmaniaga added four sen to 41.5 sen, SNS Network improved half-a-sen to 28.5 sen and Vinvest Capital grew one sen to 20 sen, while Salutica shed 44 sen to RM1.21.

On the index board, the FBM Emas Index slipped 20.74 points to 10,519.74, the FBMT 100 Index slid 21.80 points to 10,200.40 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index fell by 19.63 points to 10,870.26.

The FBM ACE Index was 7.55 points lower at 5,382.16 and the FBM 70 index shrank 47.05 points to 13,770.02.

Sector-wise, the Industrial Products and Services Index eased by 0.37 points to 174.02, the Plantation Index went down 5.91 points to 6,878.73 and the Financial Services Index declined 23.48 points to 15,707.98.

– Bernama, April 19, 2023

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