Ringgit opens higher against greenback

Ringgit opens higher against greenback
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 18): The ringgit opened slightly higher against the US dollar on Thursday (Nov 18) following mixed signal coming from the US Federal Reserve (Fed) officials amid lower-than-expected housing starts statistics, said an analyst.

At 9am, the local note opened higher at 4.1750/1770 versus the greenback from 4.1795/1810 at Wednesday’s close.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the housing starts fell 0.7% month-on-month to 1.52 million in October versus the consensus estimate of a 0.6% growth.

“The latest statistics suggest that rising building material prices and labour shortages have taken a toll on the macroeconomy,” he told Bernama.

Mohd Afzanizam said remarks from Fed official were also mixed on the tapering process to be completed by mid-2022 while the Fed would asses the impact of monetary policy accommodation to inflation.

“Besides, the US dollar index slipped to 95.783 points. Given that, the ringgit could gain some ground today (Thursday) following the decline in the US dollar,” he said.

As such, Mohd Afzanizam expects the local note to trade within the range of 4.17 to 4.18 against the greenback.

Meanwhile, the local note was traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies, except the euro where it strengthened to 4.7269/7292 from 4.7274/7291 at Wednesday’s close.

The ringgit slipped against the British pound to 5.6304/6331 from 5.6127/6147, decreased vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.6555/6576 from 3.6394/6410 and fell against the Singapore dollar at 3.0785/0802 from 3.0772/0788 previously.