Ringgit Retreats to Open Lower vs US Dollar

Malaysian ringgit banknotes of various denominations are arranged for a photograph in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. Malaysia's ringgit plunged the most since 1998 on concern the nation is running out of ammunition to defend its currency amid a political scandal, a yuan devaluation and slumping oil prices. Stocks and bonds tumbled. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

The ringgit retreated from the previous day’s gains to open lower against the greenback today on rising US bond yields after the latest US economic data strengthened the view that interest rates would stay higher for longer.

New home sales in the United States rebounded 12.3 per cent month-on-month to 759,000 units in September, which was higher than consensus estimates of 680,000 units. It was the highest level since February 2022.

At 9 am, the ringgit slid to 4.7850/7895 against the greenback from Wednesday’s close of 4.7780/7830.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said following the latest batch of positive US economic data, benchmark US Treasury bonds continued their upward march towards the 5 per cent level. “On that note, the ringgit is likely to remain soft within the RM4.78 range today as market sentiments remain guarded, which favours the greenback’s outlook,” he told Bernama.

Market players are also waiting for the US third-quarter gross domestic product preliminary estimates later today to gauge the next US Federal Reserve interest rate decision ahead of its meeting at the end of this month.

In early trade, the ringgit was mostly higher versus a basket of major currencies.

It gained versus the British pound to 5.7851/7905 from 5.7905/7965 at the close on Wednesday and edged up against the Japanese yen to 3.1858/1890 from 3.1866/1902 yesterday. However, it decreased against the euro to 5.0525/0572 from 5.0494/0547 previously.

The local note was traded mixed against other Asean currencies.

The ringgit was higher vis-a-vis the Singapore dollar at 3.4858/4896 from 3.4871/4910 and strengthened against the Thai baht to 13.1637/1804 from 13.1960/2153 previously.

In contrast, it decreased against the Indonesian rupiah to 301.4/301.9 from 301.0/301.5 at Wednesday’s close, and inched down versus the Philippine peso to 8.41/8.42 from 8.40/8.41 previously.