KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened lower against the US dollar today despite the much lower-than-expected reading on the United States (US) Philadelphia Federal Reserve Manufacturing Index, which weakened the greenback against its counterparts, a dealer said.

At 9 am, the local note fell to 4.2100/2130 against the greenback from 4.2060/2090 at Thursday’s close.

ActivTrades trader Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz said the US Initial Jobless Claims data, which was higher than expected, also caused some weakness in the USD/MYR exchange rate.

Meanwhile, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said it was a week of year-end meetings of top central banks and most banks were within the expectation of Fed to continue reducing asset purchasing programmes.

“The European Central Bank indicated it will stop the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) as planned by March 2022.

“Following this, the US dollar index (DXY) slipped to 95.991, declining by 0.54 per cent,” he told Bernama.

Hence, Diniz believes the ringgit could stay well supported against the US dollar at around RM4.20 as attention has now shifted to other central banks in making their move to increase the policy rate.

“For now, expect the ringgit to appreciate gradually with occasionally some volatility to seep in, given the fluidity of the pace of economic recovery,” he said.

At the opening bell, the ringgit was traded lower against other major currencies.

The local note depreciated against the British pound to 5.6107/6147 from 5.5902/5942 at Thursday’s close, fell vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.6991/7021 from 3.6846/6876, dipped versus the Singapore dollar to 3.0876/0901 from 3.0829/0853, and decreased against the euro to 4.7699/7733 from 4.7587/7621 previously. – Bernama

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