Ringgit ends marginally lower against US dollar

KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit retreated from yesterday’s gains to end slightly lower against the US dollar, as investors were cautious about the outcome of the US Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting which kicked off today, said an analyst.

At 6pm, the local note traded lower at 4.1120/1160 versus the greenback from 4.1110/1160 at Monday’s close.

An analyst said despite the two-day FOMC meeting, investors were also watching closely other major central banks meeting this week, including the Bank of England which is due to meet on Thursday, and the Bank of Japan, which will also begin its two-day policy meeting on the same day.

Another analyst said the local currency would nevertheless still gain some support from Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) rate-swap move effective Monday, which allows investors to better hedge bond portfolios.

He said allowing onshore banks’ access to this derivative market will add the much-needed liquidity in the Malaysian interest rate swap market.

In addition, he said BNM’s move would simultaneously address some lingering foreign investors’ hedging concerns as the FTSE Russell is set to publish its biannual fixed income review on March 29, and that Malaysia remains precariously perched on the watchlist for possible exclusion from the bond index.

Meanwhile, the ringgit was traded mostly higher against other major currencies.

It appreciated against the Singapore dollar to 3.0543/0579 from 3.0558/0602 on Monday, and rose against the Japanese yen at 3.7652/7699 from 3.7678/7727.

The ringgit strengthened against the British pound to 5.6857/6928 from 5.7274/7361 but declined versus the euro to 4.9044/9108 from 4.9028/9106 previously. — Bernama

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