Ringgit Still Weak, Opens Low Due to USD Strengthening


The ringgit closed lower against the US dollar yesterday as the American currency remained strong despite a dovish statement from one of the Federal Reserve (Fed) officials.

The statement shows the US central bank's stance on interest rate cuts this year.

At exactly 9.30am, the ringgit dropped to open lower at 4.7270 against the dollar just as it closed in yesterday's trading session.

According to the Managing Director of SPI Asset Management, Stephen Innes said while US factory activity showed signs of improvement in March which grew for the first time since September 2023.

The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 50.8 and pushed the ringgit to fail to benefit from the positive news.

The Fed's rhetoric suggests that they are in no rush to cut rates until inflation approaches their target level.

For now, investors will be closely watching this week's Non-Farm Payrolls (NFP) data for further clues about the Fed's direction. This may contribute to the cautious sentiment for the ringgit at the beginning of this week.

At the close, the ringgit traded lower against a group of major currencies.

It eased against the euro to 5.1002/1045 from 5.0907/0977 at last Friday's close, weakened against the pound to 5.9674/9729 from 5.9548/9630 and was also lower against the yen at 3.12032/31269 previously.

The ringgit traded mixed against Asean currencies.

It fell against the baht to 12.9793/12.9949 from 12.9712/12.9983 last Friday and eased against the Singapore dollar to 3.5054/5087 from 3.4987/5040 previously.

It was better against the rupiah at 297.4/297.8 compared to 297.7/298.2 at the last close and flat against the peso at 8.40/8.41.