Ringgit lower as risk-off mood emerges

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit retreated versus the US dollar in early trade today as risk-off mood emerged ahead of the US Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index data — the Federal Open Market Committee’s preferred inflation gauge — on Friday.

At 9am, the ringgit depreciated to 4.7270/7320 against the greenback from Tuesday’s close of 4.7109/7220.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid told Bernama that market players are expected to remain cautious while awaiting the release of the February print, with the ringgit expected to trade around RM4.72 today.

He said the latest Conference Board Consumer Confidence in the United States stood at 104.7 points in March, slightly lower than 104.8 points in February and also lower compared to consensus estimates of 106.9 points.

However, it had caused concerns among consumers about elevated price level as they saw an uptick in food and gas prices.

At home, the ringgit was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.

It appreciated against the euro to 5.1193/1248 from Tuesday’s close of 5.1225/1257 and also rose vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.9659/9723 from 5.9733/9771 previously.

The ringgit, however, eased versus the Japanese yen to 3.1197/1232 from 3.1194/1216 yesterday.

Meanwhile, the ringgit traded lower against other ASEAN currencies except versus the Thai baht, against which it strengthened to 12.9984/13.0164 from 13.0021/0151 at yesterday’s close.

The local unit was weaker vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah at 299.3/299.7 compared with 298.7/299.1 yesterday, fell against the Singapore dollar to 3.5124/5164 from 3.5112/5137 previously, and declined against the Philippine peso to 8.40/8.41 from 8.38/8.38.

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Ringgit eases slightly ahead of CPI data

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