KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened slightly lower against the US dollar this morning after the Federal Reserve (Fed) decided to pause rate hikes.
Last night, the Fed decided to keep the rate steady at between 5.25% and 5.5%. However, Fed chair Jerome Powell stressed that they will be ready to raise rates further if this is needed to cool inflation.
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said despite the Federal Open Market Committee keeping interest rates unchanged, the accompanying statement from Powell leaned pretty much to the hawkish side as they committed to bring down inflation to the 2% target.
“In light of the hawkish stance, the US dollar is expected to be a highly sought after currency,” he told Bernama.
At 9am, the local note slid to 4.6890/4.6935 against the greenback from yesterday’s close of 4.6840/4.6880.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded higher against a basket of major currencies.
It increased against the Japanese yen to 3.1595/3.1627 from 3.1653/3.1682 at Wednesday’s close, was up against the euro to 4.9853/4.9901 from 5.0114/5.0157 previously and rose versus the British pound at 5.7731/5.7786 from 5.7955/5.8005 yesterday.
The local note traded mixed against other Asean currencies.
It appreciated vis-à-vis the Singapore dollar to 3.4281/3.4317 from 3.4348/3.4382 at yesterday’s close and strengthened versus the Thai baht to 12.9120/12.9298 from 12.9891/13.0056 previously.
However, it was slightly lower against the Indonesian rupiah at 304.8/305.2 from 304.5/304.9 on Wednesday and was flat against the Philippine peso at 8.24/8.26 yesterday.