KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar today as investors remain cautious ahead of the US Consumer Price Index (CPI) data release tonight, according to an analyst.
The consensus estimates are that the US inflation rate would come in lower at 2.9% year-on-year in January after rising to 3.4% in the prior month.
Similarly, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Afzanizam Rashid said the core CPI would continue to exhibit a disinflationary trend to 3.8% in January.
“We believe all these have been priced in, which would support the US dollar in the immediate term,” he noted.
He also said tight labour markets may have obscured the view for early rate cut and the geopolitical conflict could potentially raise commodity prices which would fuel inflation going forward.
“While the ringgit is already hovering at an oversold position from the technical standpoints, forex markets participants are anxious about the Federal Reserve’s restrictive stance.
“As such, expect the USD/MYR to remain range bound between RM4.76 and RM4.77 today,” he noted.
At 9am, the ringgit eased to 4.7610/4.7670 against the greenback compared to Friday’s close of 4.7595/4.7705.
The ringgit was traded lower against a basket of major currencies.
The local note fell vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.1887/3.1929 from 3.1849/3.1925 at Friday’s close, depreciated against the British pound to 6.0108/6.0183 from 6.0017/6.0156 and slid versus the euro to 5.1290/5.1355 from 5.1241/5.1359.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mixed versus other Asean currencies.
It was firmer versus the Thai baht at 13.2478/13.2726 from 13.2540/13.2902 and stronger against the Philippine peso to 8.50/8.53 from 8.51/8.55 previously.
However, the local note was marginally lower against the Singapore dollar at 3.5393/3.5440 versus 3.5342/3.5429 and weaker against the Indonesian rupiah at 305.2/305.8 compared to 304.3/305.2 on Friday.