Ringgit drops to new 2018 lows as Powell boosts USD

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 18): Ringgit falls to its lowest in almost seven months as the dollar strengthens after Federal Reserve Chairman Powell delivered an upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy. June inflation figures are due.

* USD/MYR gains 0.3% to 4.0565; reached 4.0570, highest since Dec. 29

** Support 4.0083, 3.9975, 3.9969; resistance 4.0660, 4.0883, 4.0920

** NOTE: BBDXY gains 0.1% after advancing 0.4% overnight

* Ringgit’s on the back foot after USD was boosted by Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks, says Mingze Wu, FX trader at INTL FCStone in Singapore.

** If USD/MYR stays above 4.05, the next key level is 4.10

** There’s a lack of domestic factors to drive MYR with PM Mahathir Mohamad’s new govt yet to give more detailed measures on how it will cut its debt level

** “This seems like the old playbook of Malaysia back in 1990’s, which incidentally, is also the era when investors were pretty paranoid about investing into Malaysia for fear of change in regulations”

* CPI +1.3% in June y/y vs 1.8% in May, according to Bloomberg survey ahead of data due noon local time

* 10-year govt bond yield fell 2bps to 4.10% Tuesday

* Malaysian bonds are among the EM assets that Investec Asset Management favors, as it looks to get back into the market after reducing risks at the start of the year