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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Ringgit continues downtrend against US dollar at close


The ringgit continued its downtrend against the US dollar to close lower today as investors flocked to safe-haven assets amid worries over the global interest rate outlook.

At 6pm, the local note depreciated to 4.4850/4895 versus the greenback compared to Monday’s closing rate of 4.4755/4805.

SPI Asset Management managing director Stephen Innes said the local note continued to struggle in the face of a hawkish US Federal Reserve (Fed) narrative as markets anticipate higher Fed funds rates.

“If the US (economic) data remains strong and inflation remains high, it will force the market to continue debating on more than six percent for the Fed funds rates, hence the ringgit could weaken much more,” he told Bernama.

ActivTrades trader Anderson Alves said investors are also likely to be monitoring any escalation from the Russia-Ukraine war as US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned of “severe consequences” for China if it provides material support to Russia in violation of US sanctions.

“Any concrete action from China in support of Russia could be seen as a strong rationale for a derisk and deleverage from Asian exposures,” he said.

The ringgit also traded mostly lower against a basket of major currencies.

The local unit declined versus the Singapore dollar to 3.3247/3285 from 3.3162/3204 at Monday’s close, fell against the euro to 4.7572/7620 from 4.7212/7265 and depreciated against the British pound to 5.4152/4206 from 5.3576/3636, previously.

It rose vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.2799/2835 from 3.2816/2855.


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