Ringgit opens higher on stable commodity prices

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit recovered from yesterday’s losses to open higher against the US dollar today on flat commodity prices, an analyst said.

At 9 am, the local currency appreciated to 4.1840/1865 against the greenback from Thursday’s close at 4.1865/1880.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd’s chief economist, Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid, told Bernama that high Brent and crude palm oil (CPO) prices could support the ringgit as they will benefit the Malaysian economy.

Brent crude continued to hover above the US$92 per barrel level, while Malaysia’s CPO benchmark price reached RM5,507 per tonne at yesterday’s close.

However, the dollar should gain ground following the unresolved conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“The conflict is unlikely to be resolved and could last a long time given the trust deficits between Western powers towards Russia.

“Apart from that, the expected 50 basis point hike (in the policy rate) at the upcoming Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in mid-March could also signal that the US dollar will remain a highly sought-after currency as shelter from volatility,” he said.

In this sense, he said that the ringgit may remain weak and trade today in the RM4.18 to RM4.19 range.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was trading against other major currencies.

The local unit rose against the pound to 5.6919/6953 from 5.6936/6957 at Thursday’s close and rose to 4.7526/7554 from 4.7559/7576 against the euro.

However, it fell against the Yen to 3.6405/6430 from 3.6376/6392 yesterday and eased against the Singapore Dollar to 3.1145/1168 from 3.1133/1149 previously. – Bernama

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