KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened slightly higher against the US dollar as demand for the US dollar eased and the United States (US) Treasury yields slipped, an analyst said.
At 9 am, the ringgit ticked up to 4.6850/6910 against the greenback from Thursday's close of 4.6695/6755.
Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd chief economist and social finance head Dr Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the US Jobless Claims rose to 220,000 last week from 218,000 previously, suggesting that the US labour market is gradually softening, making it likely for the US Federal Reserve (Fed) to keep the interest rate steady next month.
"The two- and 10-year US Treasury yields were 7.0 and 9.0 basis points lower at 4.84 per cent and 4.44 per cent, respectively, while the US dollar Index (DXY) was stabilised at around 104 points.
"As such, the ringgit should be on a positive trajectory today," Mohd Afzanizam told Bernama.
On the local front, he expects the gross domestic product (GDP) for the third quarter of 2023 (3Q 2023) - which is set to be announced at noon today - to come in at 3.0 per cent, slightly better than 2.9 per cent in 2Q 2023.
"The main premise is that the cautious spending among consumers along with weaknesses in the external demand would keep the GDP growing at a timid pace," he said.
At 9 am, the ringgit was traded mostly lower versus a basket of major currencies.
It dropped against the Japanese yen to 3.1090/1132 from 3.0963/1005 at Thursday's close and fell vis-a-vis the British pound to 5.8152/8226 from 5.8103/8178 yesterday, but was marginally higher against the euro at 5.0824/0889 from 5.0832/0897 previously.
At the same time, the local note was traded mixed against other Asian currencies.
It had slightly depreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.4765/4812 from 3.4737/4784 on Thursday and was flat versus the Philippines' peso at 8.40/8.42 from 8.40/8.41 previously.
The ringgit weakened against the Thai baht to 13.2256/3511 from 13.2065/2286 yesterday but inched up vis-a-vis the Indonesian rupiah to 301.0/301.5 from 301.1/301.7 previously. - Bernama