KUALA LUMPUR: Renewed hopes for a pause in US interest rate hike gave the ringgit a boost this morning.
The local note will likely trade within the RM4.54 and RM4.55 range today, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance head Afzanizam Rashid told Bernama.
His positive view stems from an expected drop in US non-farm payrolls (NFP). The data will be released tonight.
The consensus is that the NFP for July 2023 will likely drop to 200,000 from 209,000 in June.
Afzanizam explained that the US Federal Reserve’s decision is data-dependent and a weak NFP could lead to a pause in interest rate hike. “However, the timing of any potential changes in the Fed’s position is uncertain,” he said.
The ringgit rose to 4.5395/4.5485 to the US dollar just 10 minutes into the trading day. It had closed at 4.5535/4.5570 yesterday.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.
It rose against the Japanese yen to 3.1809/3.1875 from 3.1849/3.1876 yesterday and strengthened versus the euro to 4.9730/4.9829 from 4.9774/4.9813 previously, but depreciated vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.7765/5.7880 from 5.7679/5.7724.
At the same time, the local unit traded higher against other Asean currencies.
The ringgit strengthened versus the Singapore dollar to 3.3869/3.3939 from 3.3923/3.3952 at the close yesterday and rose vis-a-vis the Philippines’ peso to 8.16/8.19 from 8.20/8.21 previously.
It was also higher against the Indonesian rupiah at 298.8/299.6 from 299.7/300.2 yesterday and appreciated against the Thai baht to 13.1290/13.1604 from 13.1403/13.1565 previously.