Ringgit opens lower against greenback on positive US data

Ringgit opens lower against greenback on positive US data
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 17): The ringgit continued to open lower on Wednesday (Nov 17) as the greenback gained further strength with the US' October retail sales increasing more than the expected growth of 1.7% month-on-month against a 1.4% expansion as anticipated by the consensus.

At 9am, the local note opened 75 basis points lower at 4.1720/1755 versus the greenback from 4.1645/1680 at Tuesday’s close.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said this suggests that Americans were unperturbed by the inflationary pressures and continued to spend, leading to higher odds that an interest rate hike could happen sooner.

”The US dollar was higher against major currencies such as the euro and yen, and this was reflected in the sustained rise in the US dollar index to 95.928 points,” he told Bernama.

As such, he expects the ringgit to stay weak on Wednesday and may continue to hover between 4.16 and 4.17 against the greenback.

Meanwhile, the local note was traded higher against a basket of major currencies.

The ringgit was higher against the British pound at 5.6005/6052 from 5.6050/6097 at Tuesday’s close, increased vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.6341/6375 from 3.6543/6569, strengthen versus the euro to 4.7235/7275 from 4.7313/7353, and rose against the Singapore dollar to 3.0740/0770 from 3.0755/0783 previously.