KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit rebounded from its losses to open marginally higher against the US dollar on Wednesday, supported by the rising oil price amid a slightly weaker greenback.
At 9 am, the local note went up to 4.6000/6050 versus the greenback compared with yesterday's closing of 4.6055/6100.
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid reckons that the ringgit, however, is expected to remain softer in the near term as investors await the latest assessment by the US Federal Reserve (Fed) on interest rates.
"The narrative of monetary tightening is again (in focus) and ahead of the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on June 13-14, there are still talks of a possible interest rate hike," he told Bernama.
At press time, the benchmark Brent crude oil price rose 0.22 per cent to US$76.46 per barrel.
On Monday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the Finance Minister, highlighted in Parliament that the recent depreciation of the ringgit was mainly due to interest rate hikes in the United States.
He noted that the local unit is not the only currency in the region that had slipped in value this year.
The ringgit was traded mostly higher against a basket of major currencies.
It went up to 3.3001/3039 against the Japanese yen from 3.3050/3085 at Tuesday's closing and rose against the euro to 4.9220/9274 from 4.9237/9286, but depreciated vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.7183/7245 from 5.7131/7187 yesterday.
At the same time, the local note was traded mixed against other Asean currencies.
The ringgit slid against the Thai baht to 13.2443/2640 from Tuesday's close of 13.2357/2547 and declined against the Philippine peso to 8.20/8.21 from 8.19/8.20.
However, it was marginally higher against the Singapore dollar at 3.4135/4174 from 3.4140/4179 yesterday and improved against the Indonesian rupiah to 309.5/310.0 from 309.8/310.3.