Ringgit opens slightly lower after US Fed keeps rate steady

Publish date: Thu, 21 Sep 2023, 12:09 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened slightly lower against the US dollar this morning after the US Federal Reserve (Fed) decided to pause rate hikes.

At 9 am, the local note slid to 4.6890/6935 against the greenback from yesterday's close of 4.6840/6880.

Last night, the US Fed decided to keep the rate steady at between 5.25 per cent and 5.50 per cent. However, Fed chair Jerome Powell stressed that they will be ready to raise rates further if this is needed to cool inflation.

Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance head Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said despite the Federal Open Market Committee keeping interest rates unchanged, the accompanying statement from Powell leaned pretty much to hawkish side as they commit to bring down inflation down to a two per cent target.

"In light of the hawkish stance, the US Dollar is expected to be a highly sought after currency," he told Bernama.

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

It increased against the Japanese yen to 3.1595/1627 from 3.1653/1682 at Wednesday's close and was up against the euro to 4.9853/9901 from 5.0114/0157 previously and rose versus the British pound at 5.7731/7786 from 5.7955/8005 yesterday.

The local note traded mixed against other Asean currencies.

It appreciated vis-à-vis the Singapore dollar to 3.4281/4317 from 3.4348/4382 at yesterday's close and strengthened versus the Thai baht to 12.9120/9298 from 12.9891/13.0056 previously.

However, it was slightly lower against the Indonesian rupiah at 304.8/305.2 from 304.5/304.9 on Wednesday and was flat against the Philippine peso at 8.24/8.26 yesterday.  

  - Bernama

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