KUALA LUMPUR: The ringgit opened unchanged against the US dollar today, as the recent Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) report signalled a more hawkish stance from the United States Federal Reserve (Fed), a dealer said.

At 9 am, the local note stood at 4.2260/2305 against the greenback from 4.2260/2310 at Wednesday’s close.

ActivTrades trader Dyogenes Rodrigues Diniz said the report showed that members of the committee were willing to speed up the tapering process and possibly start raising interest rates in 2022.

“This has the potential to lift the US dollar against its counterparties. Still, the market did not make a big swings, in part because this hawkish tone was already expected by the market,” he told Bernama.

From a technical point of view, he said if the USD/MYR (the US dollar-to-ringgit exchange rate) manages to break above the 4.2400 level, it could rise to 4.2900 in a few days.

“On the other hand, a break below the 4.1920 level may open room for a dip to 4.1390,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd chief economist Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid said the Fed has also indicated that the tapering process would be reduced further by US$30 billion.

“This will make the asset purchases programme to be slashed from US$90 billion per month to US$60 billion, commencing January next year.

“Judging from the fall in the US dollar index (DXY) by 0.24 per cent, the ringgit could stage a gradual appreciation, possibly around RM4.21 as fears over the Omicron variant have somewhat been alleviated,” he said.

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

The local note appreciated against the British pound to 5.6020/6080 from 5.6033/6099 at Wednesday’s close and climbed vis-a-vis the Japanese yen to 3.7021/7061 from 3.7152/7199.

However, it depreciated versus the Singapore dollar to 3.0930/0968 from 3.0890/0931 and fell against the euro to 4.7682/7733 from 4.7644/7700 previously. – Bernama



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