KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 15): The ringgit opened slightly higher against the US dollar on Monday (Nov 15) despite positive expectations of the US improving data points.
At 9am, the local note opened higher at 4.1630/1660 versus the greenback from 4.1645/1665 at last Friday’s close.
Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the key data points to watch for would be US retail sales to be announced on Tuesday.
“Should retail sales turn out to be better than expected, it would lead to a higher US dollar as it will bolster expectations of a higher federal funds rate,” he told Bernama.
Meanwhile, he said the weaker-than-expected gross domestic product means the accommodative monetary stance by Bank Negara Malaysia would likely stay for quite a while.
“Therefore, the overnight policy rate (OPR) could remain steady in the near term despite talk of higher inflation globally,” he explained.
As such, he believes the ringgit should trade within the range of 4.16 to 4.17 to the US dollar on Monday.
Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies except for the Japanese yen in which it increased to 3.6467/65014 from 3.6521/6550 at last Friday’s close.
However, the local note depreciated vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.5872/5912 from 5.5783/5810 previously, narrowed against the Singapore dollar at 3.0789/0814 from 3.0757/0776, and fell versus the euro to 4.7650/7684 from 4.7646/7669.