KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit eased further against the US dollar as fresh worries over sticky US inflation kept investors away from emerging markets.
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the US Dollar Index (DXY) stayed on an upward trend due to inflation concerns, gaining 0.04% to 104.846 points, while crude oil prices continued to march higher.
“There seems to be concerns that inflation is going to be stubbornly higher, which warrants a prolonged restrictive monetary policy.
“As for Bank Negara Malaysia, we believe it might keep the overnight policy rate steady today at 3% as its decision will be predicated on the domestic economic condition, which is expected to be the anchor of growth amid wobbling external demand,” Afzanizam told Bernama.
As such, he expects the ringgit to stay weak versus the greenback today.
The monetary policy committee is scheduled to release its statement later today following its meeting.
At 9am, the local note fell to 4.6750/4.6765 against the greenback from Wednesday’s close of 4.6720/4.6765.
Nevertheless, the ringgit traded higher against a basket of major currencies.
It increased against the euro to 5.0116/5.0170 from 5.0145/5.0193 at Wednesday’s close, rose versus the British pound to 5.8405/5.8467 from 5.8657/5.8713 yesterday, and improved vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1637/3.1673 from 3.1694/3.1727.
The local note was traded mixed against other Asean currencies.
It appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.4249/3.4288 from 3.4308/3.4343 at yesterday’s close and went up versus the Thai baht to 13.1317/13.1516 from 13.1532/13.1710.
The local currency eased against the Indonesian rupiah to 305.7/306.0 from 305.5/305.8 on Wednesday and was lower vis-a-vis the Philippine peso at 8.21/8.22 from 8.20/8.21 previously.