Ringgit opens slightly higher against US dollar at opening

Ringgit opens slightly higher against US dollar at opening
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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 29): The ringgit opened marginally higher against the US dollar on Monday (Nov 29) as the greenback retreated on concerns about the latest coronavirus variant and the possibility of travel control being imposed by several countries.

At 9am, the local note opened higher at 4.2350/2395 against the greenback from 4.2370/2400 at last Friday’s close.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said while there appeared to be anxiety over the new variant of concern (VOC), the selling of the ringgit could be seen as somewhat overdone.

“This happened as talks about a possible interest rate hike in the US alongside with inflation worries had taken a serious toll on emerging market currencies.

“Therefore, there could be buying opportunities for the ringgit since the US Federal Reserve could be inclined to take a pause or might tweak its narratives in view of the VOC named Omicron,” he told Bernama.

He added that with the immediate resistance level at 4.245 against the US dollar, it would require more negative news in order to pierce such a level, but the ringgit is expected to remain soft at around 4.23.

Hong Leong Bank Bhd, in a research note, said the US dollar climbed higher for a ninth straight session against the ringgit last Friday, hitting an intraday high of 4.2485 before narrowing some gains to 4.2385 towards the close.

“We are neutral to bullish on the greenback-versus-ringgit pair in the week ahead as markets continue to grapple with uncertainties surrounding the latest Omicron virus strain.

“That said, the greenback’s overbought position suggests some imminent pullback before further moving higher. We therefore expect the pair to trade in the range of 4.20 to 4.25,” it added.

Meanwhile, the local note was traded lower against a basket of major currencies at the opening.

It eased versus the British pound to 5.6444/6504 from 5.6403/6443 at last Friday's close and depreciated compared to the Singapore dollar to 3.0910/0948 from 3.0893/0920.

The ringgit fell against the Japanese yen to 3.7231/7274 from 3.7131/7160 last Friday and slipped vis-a-vis the euro to 4.7809/7860 from 4.7713/7747.